Issues surrounding the provision of youth work in Bradley Stoke have once again proved divisive within the Town Council leading to a Councillor walking out of a meeting after being accused of “railroading” proposals for extra expenditure.
After hearing youth leader Steve Robertson raise concerns in his quarterly report to Council that much of the youth club equipment is old and in need of replacement, Cllr Brian Hopkinson wanted to force a vote to approve extra funding for replacement items.
His proposal found little support amongst his colleagues on the Leisure, Youth & Amenities Committee, who thought that South Gloucestershire Council or Southern Brooks Community Partnership (SBCP) should provide the money.
Fellow Tory Cllr Morgan Baynham pointed out to Cllr Hopkinson that no vote could be taken as the topic of extra spending was not on the meeting’s agenda, adding that Cllr Hopkinson was trying to “railroad” the matter through Council.
After further discussion, it was suggested that Mr Robertson write to the Town Council with an equipment “wish list” which could then be discussed at the Full Council meeting in September.
An angry Cllr Hopkinson then accused Cllr Baynham of “derailing” his motion, saying that he had wanted a decision to be made that day rather than leaving it until September. “This is after all the Youth Committee”, he exclaimed before gathering his papers and walking out of the meeting, accompanied by Cllr Sarah Pomfret.
According to Mr Robertson, the Brook Way youth club needs four PCs (est. £1100), a table tennis table (£200), a table football table (£250), music equipment (£1500) and items of soft furniture. Offers of equipment and/or donations should be directed to SBCP on 01454 868570.
Photo: Cllr Brian Hopkinson (right) pictured with Cllr John Calway, Leader of South Gloucestershire Conservatives, at the Brook Way Youth Club.
Related Link: Youth Clubs in Bradley Stoke (The Journal)
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