Burt's Eye View: We must heed our teenagers

PUBLISHED: 10:55 23 November 2006 | UPDATED: 11:14 06 May 2010

THE front page of The Comet which recently highlighted my concerns about provision for young people in the area has sparked one or two comments, and not all of them appreciative. Let me put some matters straight. To say I want to see more done neither imp

THE front page of The Comet which recently highlighted my concerns about provision for young people in the area has sparked one or two comments, and not all of them appreciative. Let me put some matters straight.

To say I want to see more done neither implies that nothing is being done at present, nor that no one else is interested. It means just what it says. The issue of young people being on the streets, often vulnerable themselves and at risk of causing concern to others, is a very real one, as is youth crime. It will not go away of its own accord.

Tackling the issue is complex and involves many people and ideas. I have praised repeatedly those who give up their time to be leaders of young people in sports clubs, and uniformed and non-uniformed organisations. We do not have enough of them. More adults volunteering for this must be part of the answer. Equally I praise those many young people who are role models for each other, and Remembrance Sunday brings out the best around the area.

But organised activities can only take up so much of a youngster's time. What are young people looking for in Biggleswade in the evenings when they want to be with their friends and they want somewhere just to hang out on their own? As the town gets bigger are we going to see any commercial provision such as a cinema, or will entertainment simply be associated with clubs and licensed premises? This was the focus of the concerns to which I listened with the police, concerns which would be shared and worried about by many parents.

I have one or two ideas I want to share with those already working on this at town, district and county level, and will report back to Comet readers when I can.

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