October midterm youth activities aim to distract youth from distractions


By Jean Baron

Two initiatives aimed at tackling anti-social behavior and entertaining young people from ‘outside’ West Leeds received funding at a council meeting today.

Advisors on the west-central community committee agreed to allocate £2,517 to mid-October youth activities, including cooking, bushcraft, music and arts and crafts workshops.

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There will also be guest speakers from the police and fire departments who will raise safety awareness ahead of the nightly bonfire period, when emergency services experience an increase in anti-social behavior.

The activity days aim to attract up to 40 young people between the ages of 11 and 16.

The aim of the project is to keep youngsters busy and the initiation days will allow children to try a range of new activities, meet new friends and keep them busy during the holidays.

Cllr Peter Carlill, (Lab, Calverley & Farsley) and Child and Youth Champion for the Outer West Region, defended the funding at the Pudsey Town Hall meeting today.

He said: “Throughout the pandemic, so many children and young people have missed out on valuable experiences.

“Most importantly, the activities on offer are based on the young people who told us they wanted to try following our youth consultation earlier in the year.

“Intended for mid-term, they also serve a useful second purpose as a holiday club, helping to support working parents during mid-term.”

Councilors said a different session would be held in each of the three wards covered by the West Away Committee – Calverley & Farsley, Pudsey and Farnley & Wortley – but stressed the need to identify venues as soon as possible.

Cllr Amanda Carter (Cons, Calverley & Farsley) said the program will tackle antisocial behavior issues and “catch them before they start messing around”.

Farsley Cricket Club also received £500 to fund its Junior Connect scheme.

Between mid-September and the end of December, the club aims to run a weekly program of activities for all ages, also aiming to increase access for more junior players who otherwise could not afford to participate. The funding will be used to purchase equipment such as balls, stumps, boards and nets.

Councilors also heard about grants that have been approved by council officers since the last committee meeting in June. These include £6,035 to West Yorkshire Police to tackle anti-social behaviour, £357 to Pudsey FC for goal posts, £500 to Pudsey Scarecrow Festival and £1,000 for a youth activity called ‘A week by the sea.

Ward members have also agreed to spend £3,735 on installing 15 new bins in Pudsey.

The full agenda and documents for today’s meeting can be found here.

The West Outer Community Committee is made up of nine councilors from three council wards: Calverley & Farsley, Farnley & Wortley and Pudsey. The political composition is five Conservative councillors, and two from the Labor Party and the Green Party.

Follow WLDOuter West committee coverage here.

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