Fears for the future of Vale’s popular youth club

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Organisers of a youth club which has helped reduce anti-social behaviour in the Vale of Belvoir fear it may have to close if threats to cut funding go ahead.

Melton Council has paid for a youth worker to attend sessions at Bottesford Youth Club for 10 hours a week since 2007.

But councillors will vote on a recommendation to stop the funding next month.

The club’s committee chair fears the absence of a qualified person could have serious repercussions for the futures of the young people, aged 11 to 17, who attend.

Peter Booth-Clibborn told the Melton Times: “Without a youth worker we are very worried about the future of the youth club.

“There is a possiblity we could run it as a bunch of enthusiastic amateurs but a professional can spot which children are at risk of committing anti-social behaviour and those who need extra support.

“This has been something which the council has supported which has been so successful and it is used by young people across the Vale and not just Bottesford.”

The committee has launched an online petition in a bid to infuence the council vote - go to www.change.org/p/melton-borough-councillors-save-bottesford-youth-club to support it.

The club meets on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evenings with an average of around 40 youngsters at each session.

Young people attend from Redmile, Stathern, Woolsthorpe, Harby, Eaton, Barkestone, Branston and Muston, as well as Bottesford.

Melton Council said it was considering ending the funding because savings needed to be found in the 2019/2020 budget due to pressure on resources and diminishing funds paid to the authority by central government

But a council spokesperson told the Melton Times: “The council fully recognises the value that Bottesford Youth Club brings to the local community and young people in the area, and it has opened up discussions both with the youth club and the local parish council to allow as much time as possible to explore whether there are any alternative ways to enable the current provision to continue.”