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October half-term youth activities aim to divert young people from distractions

By John Baron

Two initiatives initiatives to tackle anti-social behaviour and entertain young people in ‘outer’ West Leeds have received funding at a council meeting today.

Councillors on the outer west community committee agreed to allocate £2,517 to October half-term youth activities including cooking, bushcraft, music, and arts and crafts taster workshops.

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There will also be guest speakers from the police and Fire Service raising safety awareness ahead of the bonfire night period when emergency services experience increased anti-social behaviour.

The activity days aim to attract up to 40 young people aged between 11 and 16.

The aim of the project is to keep young people occupied and the taster days will provide children a chance to try out a range of new activities, meet new friends, and keep them engaged during the holiday.

Cllr Peter Carlill, (Lab, Calverley & Farsley) and Children and Young People’s Champion for the Outer West area, championed the funding at the Pudsey Civic Hall meeting today.

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

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

“Planned for half term, they also serve a useful second purpose as a holiday club, helping support working parents over half term.”

Councillors said that a different session would be held in each of the three wards covered by the outer west committee – Calverley & Farsley, Pudsey and Farnley & Wortley – but stressed the need for venues to be identified as soon as possible.

Cllr Amanda Carter (Cons, Calverley & Farsley) said the scheme will tackle problems with anti-social behaviour and “catch them before they start to get into mischief”.

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

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

Councillors also heard about grants which were approved by council officers since the last committee meeting in June. These include £6,035 to West Yorkshire Police for tackling 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 at the seaside’.

Ward members also agreed to spend £3,735 towards the installation of 15 new litter bins in Pudsey.

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

The outer west community committee is made up of nine councillors from three council wards: Calverley & Farsley, Farnley & Wortley and Pudsey. The political makeup is five Conservative councillors, and two each from Labour and the Green Party.

Follow WLD‘s coverage of the Outer West committee here.

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