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Kesgrave youth club cancelled after toilets set on fire ready for 2018 return

PUBLISHED: 19:44 16 October 2017 | UPDATED: 07:11 17 October 2017

Millennium Jubilee Hall in Kesgrave. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Millennium Jubilee Hall in Kesgrave. Picture: GREGG BROWN

It is hoped a youth club will be up and running again in Kesgrave in the new year.

Kesgrave Town Council was forced to cancel the Thursday evening sessions for over 13s at Millennium Jubilee Hall after a string of anti-social behaviour incidents, which culminated in some toilets being deliberately set on fire in February.

The behaviour left the town council with no choice but to suspend those sessions, with police also having to attend. Under 13 sessions were not affected.

• Reaction to the toilets fire in Kesgrave.

But in August the town council put out a tender for organisations interested in running relaunched sessions for those in school years 10-13 to come forward for funding.

The successful applicant was Orwell.

Last night, a spokesman for Kesgrave Town Council said: “The town council undertook a fully extensive and widely publicised tendering process where Orwell was the chosen provider as a result of this process.”

The club had been due to relaunch this month, but the start date has been delayed until early 2018 due to staffing issues at Orwell after its service manager changed roles.

The Kesgrave Town Council spokesman added: “Orwell has advertised the post, and it is envisaged that it will be able to recruit a replacement as swiftly as possible.

“Being realistic it is now likely to be January 2018 before Orwell has a new service manager in post, especially if the chosen candidate has a notice period to work to.

“As a result of the staffing changes at Orwell, the outsourcing of the Thursday evening youth club/facility new model will now be slightly delayed and will not be operational until at least January 2018.

“The town council looks forward to working closely with Orwell.”

The original pilot scheme was due to run from October to March with a £5,000 pot available for the winning bid to run the sessions.

However, if the club proves safe and popular, it is hoped they will continue with fresh funding beyond March, subject to a review of the pilot. The Millennium Jubilee Hall has once again been chosen to host the club.

Earlier this year, PCSO Mike Sarbutts, of Suffolk police, said: “We will take robust action to prevent this enjoyment lapsing into repeat incidents of anti-social behaviour.”

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