Cash will be spent on new youth zone in Chorley

YOUTH ZONE: Coun Peter Wilson and County Coun Matthew Tomlinson outside the Leigh Arms and Station Hotel, the site of the proposed youth zone in Chorley
YOUTH ZONE: Coun Peter Wilson and County Coun Matthew Tomlinson outside the Leigh Arms and Station Hotel, the site of the proposed youth zone in Chorley
  • A proposal to spend £1m on a new youth zone in Chorley has been approved
  • Chorley Council’s Conservative group said the youth zone should be provided by Lancashire County Council instead
  • The youth zone is part of £4.4m of investment by Chorley Council
  • Council tax will be frozen for the third year running

Plans to spend £1m on a youth zone in Chorley have been approved - despite calls for them to be removed from the budget.

Chorley Council’s Labour administration proposed setting aside money for the youth zone, planned for Chapel Street, at its budget meeting on Tuesday.

“What we want is the model we see in Bolton and Wigan and other parts of the country, which is not just a centre for specialist services but a centre where young people from across this borough can go.”

Coun Peter Wilson

The £4m project will be a partnership with Onside Youth Zones, the Arts Partnership and Lancashire County Council.

But putting forward an alternative budget, the Conservatives’ deputy leader Coun Paul Leadbetter said while he supported plans for a youth zone, he recommended that Lancashire County Council should do it rather than Chorley Council.

But the idea was rejected by Labour councillors.

Coun Peter Wilson, deputy leader, said: “If we leave the youth zone to the county council we will see a very good service provided to a very small number of people.

“What we want is the model we see in Bolton and Wigan and other parts of the country, which is not just a centre for specialist services but a centre where young people from across this borough can go.”

The alternative budget included different areas of investment and a reduction in capital spending.

Councillors voted against the Conservatives’ budget proposal and in favour of the Labour group’s plans.

It means council tax will be frozen for the third year and more than £5m spent on schemes, including £600,000 on a new community centre in Buckshaw Village, £1m on improvements to Market Street, in Chorley, and £50,000 on a flower show.