Residents living in Leaside Way and adjoining roads were invited to a meeting at the Hardmoor Early Years Centre on 19th January. This crowded meeting, which included a surprising number of youths complete with hoodies, was the second one called to establish a “Leaside Way Residents’ Association”. The motivation was the vandalism on the estate. A number of officers from the City Council and Councillor Holden-Brown were present. The convenor of the meeting was elected chairman of the new association. A committee was elected and two youths were also persuaded to be members.

The chairman said that the kids had nothing to do and they had got to include young people for everyone’s well being. One of their objectives was to take over the disused scout hut. It would not be just for a youth centre but for all the residents. One youth was invited to speak and he said they would like to put a pool table in there so they had somewhere to go, instead of creating havoc on the estate. There was much lively and chaotic discussion. Someone claimed that when the scout hut was used, even more cars were vandalised and windows broken. Anyway, it was not needed as a lot was provided at the Swaythling Youth Centre. But going there was said to be unsafe because when it closed they would be jumped on by gangs from Mansbridge. On their wish list was lighting for the play area in Leaside Way so that it could be used on dark evenings. A City officer said that he would look into getting the rubbish in the woodland removed. There will be an early next meeting.

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