Killyleagh young people in call for better facilities

Killyleagh young people in call for better facilities

3 October 2012

A CALL has been made for more facilities for young people in Killyleagh.

Down Council has been urged to consider opening the town’s Bridge Community Centre on Saturday nights and to examine the possibility of providing a 3G sports pitch.

The call has been made by teenagers and follows research carried out in a unique survey among teenagers, primary school children and their parents.

It was carried out by officials of the Killyleagh Summer League (KSL) as part of the Killyleagh Alive project to look at the issues facing young people in the town.

There was 100 per cent support for the provision of a first ever 3G sports pitch in the town, while 95 per cent of the people who took part in the survey urged the council to look at opening the Bridge Centre, and other council facilities on a Saturday night.

“This is research we carried out over a six week period with response forms distributed to participants and parents connected to the Summer League. We also broadened it out to take in teenage boys and girls,’’ explained KSL chairman Chris Hagan.

“The Bridge Centre is a tremendous asset to the town and there is considerable praise for how the staff operate. The feeling among young people is that more could be done for the 13 to 18 age group.

“People would like to see the council look at the issue of opening on a Saturday night. Many of the problems with anti-social behaviour, not just in Killyleagh, occur on a Saturday night and yet we have the very facilities to help young people shuttered up across the district.

“Is that right? It is time to invest in our young people and for leadership from the council on this issue.’’

Mr. Hagan said that while there is acknowledgement that efforts have been ongoing and continue to provide 3G all-weather facilities in the town, greater effort and more support should be given to ensure this happens.

“A total of 100 per cent of the young people who responded want to see more organised activities. When you consider it cost £80,000 alone to replace the public toilets after they were burned down, the level of investment for some activities is minuscule by comparison.

“We will passing on the results of the survey to Rowallane area councillors and to the Bridge Centre Committee to help them progress some of the issues raised.’’

• The survey was carried out in the town over a six week period and covered 100 written responses in representative age groups.