Youth shelter to be removed to reduce anti-social behaviour

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A youth shelter has become such a ‘magnet’ for anti-social behaviour that those who helped to get it up and running are now calling for its removal.

The ‘mushroom shelter’, on the Moreton Hall Community Centre playing field, was installed around nine years ago, but has since become a hotspot for nuisance behaviour.

St Edmundsbury borough councillor Frank Warby, ward member for Moreton Hall, said: “We were very pleased to get it at the time.

“It was used very well by the children up to a few years ago when we suddenly had larger louts from other estates come and abuse it.

“They set fire to it, use it as a drinking bar and chuck their bottles on to the field where the kids play football, or smash them on the pathway.

“It is a pity but having spoken to the police, the chairman of the Moreton Hall Club and Reverend Ford, who kindly had it donated to us, to cut down on anti-social behaviour, we have agreed to have it removed.”

Christ Church, Moreton Hall, donated £1,000 towards building the £3,000 shelter.

Minister of Christ Church The Revd Canon Jonathan Ford said: “It was built to give young people somewhere to meet and to hang out but, as often happens with these things, what started off as a good idea has had anti-social groups spoil it for everybody around.”

He added: “The church was very pleased to donate significant resources towards this and will be very saddened to have to see it go but we have to think of the good of the community as a whole and, if it’s reached the stage where it’s causing problems rather than solving them, we’ll support the borough.”

Nigel Cross, chairman of the Moreton Hall Community Association and Club, said he hoped removing the shelter would deter large groups of youngsters from congregating nearby, following problems with intimation of customers, thefts and vandalism at the community centre.