Youth facility hope for Ottery toilets

TOILETS could be transformed into a purpose-designed facility for Ottery teenagers.

The town’s young people’s champion hopes the �4,000 project will cut down anti-social behaviour, drug and alcohol issues and criminal activity.

Councillor Roger Giles has bid for �3,000 in Government cash to re-vamp “redundant” loos at The Flexton to the benefit of youngsters who currently have nowhere to socialise.

“There would be a very strong desire to have and use this facility in a responsible way,” Cllr Giles told the Herald.

“Other than the Youth Centre at St Saviour’s there are no facilities for young people in the town. The Youth Centre is excellent but does not attract some young people.

“Fifteen to 18-year-olds would be attracted to the (proposed) facility.

“Youngsters of this age do tend to ‘hang around’ and, as a result, are often involved in anti-social behaviour and similar nuisance or minor criminal activities.

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“Providing somewhere to go and something to do, as well as encouraging ‘ownership’ of the facility by involving the young people in delivering and running the centre, would be a positive way of reducing anti-social behaviour.

“It will have a very positive impact by reducing the likelihood of drugs and alcohol misuse and help youth crime prevention.”

Mr Giles emphasised Ottery youngsters on the whole are very well behaved and a credit to the town.

If made a reality, toilet fittings will be removed, water and electricity supplies will be adapted and furniture and catering-type equipment added, said Mr Giles.

Ottery town council owns the building and civic leaders will formally discuss the project at a future meeting.

Without a capital funding boost the project is “most unlikely” to go ahead, said the councillor.

“The (Flexton) building is ideally sited in the town centre, yet there are few residential properties,” he added.