Anger in Arundel as treasured youth centre is closed

The building which used to house the Arundel Youth Club
The building which used to house the Arundel Youth Club

AN ANGERED councillor in Arundel has branded the closure of the town’s youth club an ‘appalling and shocking decision’.

Councillor Mark Phillips, of Arundel Town Council, has expressed his anger at the move by West Sussex County Council to stop supporting the much-loved centre, in School Lane.

The decision was announced last Wednesday with the club being closed with immediate effect.

Cllr Phillips now fears for the town’s young people, and claimed they would be left with nothing to do.

He said: “I’m absolutely staggered that the county council has closed this facility without any alternatives in place.

“Now, with this youth centre gone, there is absolutely nothing left for the young people in the town, particularly at this time of year, when people might not want to use the Lido.”

The youth club is based on the top floor of the library.

A spokesman for the county council said the authority is facing a ‘very difficult financial landscape’ against a background of grant reductions from central Government.

“We have had to look critically at many of the services we provide, and have decided that the best way forward is to target our scarce resources at the most vulnerable young people in society, which has led to the development of our youth support and development service,” he said.

“As part of these changes, over the last two years, we have withdrawn our interest in a number of facilities across the county.

“In Arundel, we have seen that the youth club membership has declined considerably over the last year and the position of the club is fast becoming unsustainable.”

For the full story, see this week’s Littlehampton Gazette.