Councillor Dave Jones said today "that following criticism from some parents of children attending Ashmore Park Youth Centre Councillor Bateman and I have been investigating your complaints."
He went onto say that "We have taken up the issue that one parent had with regard to the 'Girl Group' being transferred from Ashmore Park to Park Village.
There has been some local resentment towards that course of action. But having taken the matter up we can report that the Youth Service made that decision because ' young men were climbing the roof to watch the girls' aerobics/dance group in the recreation room.
The boys were taking photos with their mobiles through the upper windows. Various steps were taken to address the issue but the girls were uncomfortable and asked if their activity could move to another site.'
Councillor Bateman added " this information shows that there was a degree of help requested by the girls to deal with this intrusion. I for one would not criticise the Youth Leaders for taking the action that they have in keeping the activity going even if it has been off site, and taking place in Park Village.
But Councillor Dave Jones and I believe that the issue itself needed to be confronted and beat on site.
The Youth Service on reflection also realise that moving away from Ashmore Park was not the entire solution.They have now agreed and have asked that Ashmore Park staff are allocated to work with the boys to ensure that they do not disrupt the girls activities.In addition blinds will be put on the windows to avoid the possibility of further occurrences and to reassure the girls that they are serious about protecting their privacy.
Councillor Dave Jones added "that one senior Youth Service Manager had commented that they know none of the above will itself change the silliness and disrespectful behaviour of the young men, but they do hope that the Ashmore Park Youth Club staff will develop a range of actions which will send out the appropriate message. Further commenting he said "Both Councillor Bateman and I are very pleased that we have been able to raise this matter and are very grateful to the Youth Service management for dealing with it in this way. Now we will have the event taking place back on Ashmore Park, and some improvements made to go with its return.
But I do hope that staff will keep a watchful eye on the boy's behaviour!"
Author: Phil Bateman
Article Date: 9th April 2007