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Resident bemoans lack of facilities for young people

PUBLISHED: 08:00 05 December 2008 | UPDATED: 07:49 01 August 2010

A 64-YEAR-old woman from Holton has warned that Halesworth could become a "ghost town" if money is not invested in providing leisure facilities for young people.

A 64-YEAR-old woman from Holton has warned that Halesworth could become a “ghost town” if money is not invested in providing leisure facilities for young people.

Jacqueline Keats, of Church View, moved to Holton in 1984 with her then young children and feels that the facilities in Halesworth have not improved since then- particularly with the probable closure of the town's swimming pool.

And it is specifically the “middle age group of children,” from 14 to 17, that she feels are being neglected.

“They feel they're too old for the usual youth club but not old enough for the pubs and they're stuck in the middle,” said Mrs Keats. “They're bored out of their minds and it's justified. I feel so sorry for them.

If we don't get them out of this apathy it's going to reflect on their career prospects. Happy children make happy citizens.

“They'll leave the town before much longer because they'll want to go somewhere where there's life. I'm really worried about Halesworth, we're going to end up with a ghost town.”

Also in this week's Journal we have reported on the problems of anti-social behaviour from young people in the Steeple End area of Halesworth, and whilst Mrs Keats says that there is “no excuse” for bad behaviour she said she can partly understand it.

“You only need to get a bit of mischief in one of them and they will all follow,” she said. “And I do understand their frustration. Young men especially are born with adventure in them, where do they get it from?”

Mrs Keats suggested facilities such as a coffee shop that opens later, practise rooms for up and coming musicians, or better sports facilities would be good for the town.

Chairman of Halesworth Town Council Janet Wright agreed that there is a problem and said that they were trying to address the issue by getting a cyber café in the town. “We do have the youth club which is for that age group, and we put on buses for the Bungay youth club,” she said. “But I agree there is an issue. Facilities in Halesworth are poor, let alone for that age group. We are trying to get a cyber café up and running. We're still looking for premises but I couldn't day it would be here this time next year.”

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