Following the request for new youth facility suggestions for the town and a successful grant application by Wealden District Council from the Government's Safer Streets scheme, two new youth shelters have been installed in Hailsham.
Hailsham's young people can now benefit from having youth shelters at two locations in the town – on the Western Road Recreation Ground and at the skate park adjacent to the Maurice Thornton Playing Field.
The Town Council's Youth Service Manager, Andy Joyes, is pleased to have been successful in the application for Safer Streets grant funding and delighted to see two new youth shelters installed at different points in the town, so users of the facilities have somewhere to go if they're out and about and it rains, or if they want somewhere safe to sit down for a chat.
Andy said: “I'm pleased that support from Safer Streets has been received to enable us to provide these youth shelters for our young people. The need for them in the town was certainly on the young people's wish list.”
“Discussions about the need for youth shelters began some time ago, triggering support from the Town Council, local community, police and youth workers as a way of tackling antisocial behaviour. The new shelter facilities are a way of getting young people off the streets and providing them with a safe, accessible meeting area.”
At a meeting of Hailsham Town Council held last November, a number of other key proposals were put forward by members as a priority for recent government funding awarded to a part of Hailsham via the Safer Streets scheme to tackle acquisitive crime, including a CCTV upgrade for the town centre.
In 2021, following an application to the Home Office, Wealden District Council as lead bidders was awarded up to £309,453 through the Safer Streets initiative, which was set up to help make streets safer through projects to crack down on acquisitive crime such as burglary, robbery and vehicle theft.
The funding is being used to establish crime-preventative measures, including improved security measures, information projects and a neighbourhood watch scheme in parts of Hailsham, as a result of higher-than-average recorded incidences of the aforementioned neighbourhood crimes.
While the main priority is the required upgrade of the Town Council's CCTV cameras located in the town centre, the successful application for a grant to purchase and install two youth shelters in the town has been welcomed with open arms.
The Mayor of Hailsham, Cllr Paul Holbrook commented: “Dealing with acquisitive crime and antisocial behaviour is important to the community as a whole and I'm delighted that the Town Council was given a say on priorities for the town and to mark the beginning of what could be a period of significant investment in Hailsham town centre, as well as being successful in its bid for funding for the two youth shelters.”
“Hailsham has a strong sense of community spirit, but with some crimes taking place here, we hope this funding will have a positive impact on said crime rates in the area and go some way in terms of our priority of creating safe neighbourhoods, and working with project partners to put together a strong programme of activity that will make a big difference to the local community.”
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