I have read with concern the letters relating to the provision for young people in Billingshurst over the last few weeks. I have had family ties with Billingshurst for over 40 years and have lived there since 2005 but have only recently become involved in community activities and been shocked to hear of the acrimonious relationships between groups supposedly serving their communities.
I have only heard and experienced positive things about the community partnership which has been active in getting excellent arts and leisure events going in the village and creating lasting facilities for all age groups.
As the mother of a pre-teen and someone with considerable experience of working with young people with challenging behaviours and experiencing social disadvantage, I am dismayed to hear that there is likely to be no regular provision for activities for teenagers in the immediate future. It seems unbelievable in such a large village.
As local authorities are no longer funding youth services and other provisions, it will be vital that local people become actively involved and show how they want their local taxes and grants spent. I share Geoffrey Lawes and Denise Campbell’s concerns (County Times August 9) about the appropriateness and inaccuracy of the parish clerk’s comments and gather that this letter was not agreed by all parish councillors (or that they were even aware of it until after publication).
I do not underestimate the diplomatic challenges in keeping all members of a large community happy but it is at our peril that we try ignore the needs of the citizens of the future in a rapidly expanding and changing community such as Billingshurst.
Frenches Mead, Billingshurst