Councillor hits back at ‘naive and irresponsible’ remarks over Youth Zone

A Horncastle councillor has slammed calls for a ‘Youth Zone’ to be created in the town as ‘naive and irresponsible.’
Town Councillor Dominic Hinkins.Town Councillor Dominic Hinkins.
Town Councillor Dominic Hinkins.

Town councillor Dominic Hinkins is leading the fight to save Horncastle Youth Centre from closure.

However, at a town council meeting last month, district councillor William Gray said efforts should be focused on creating a multi-purpose youth zone instead.

In an email sent to the Horncastle News, Coun Hinkins said: “I read with incredulity the naive comments printed from Coun Gray.

“While I couldn’t agree more with him that a purpose built, modern ‘youth zone’ would be an incredible thing for Horncastle, I wonder if he would also like the town council to give every child a thousand pounds and a free puppy.

Residents need to know that what he suggests is simply not realistic, and even if anyone was offering to create it, would in any case be far more expensive than bringing the wonderful, centrally located facility we already have up to standard – and saving one of our treasured heritage assets into the bargain.

“We’re very grateful to have had interest from another charity which is offering experienced professionals to run a youth club in the building.

“And, I’m proud of the passion and hard work of youth centre trustees who are determined to move heaven and earth to get the building back open and serving our young people again.

“I welcome any constructive suggestions and offers of support for the project.

“In Mr Grey’s responsible position, talking about hypothetical ‘youth zones’ is not only unhelpful – it irresponsibly endangers the project by giving a misleading impression that if we abandon the youth centre, an alternative option would miraculously become available.

“That was not true when the same was implied of the town hall, and it’s not true now.

“I would be the first to say that youth services should be provided by councils, not by charities and volunteers, but as services have been cut back, we don’t have the luxury of choice.”

• Coun Hinkins stressed he had written the email as an individual citizen of the town– and ‘not as a councillor or trustee of the Youth Centre

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