Alarm bells are ringing again over the future of the Inkerman Street Starlight Youth Club.
An item has been placed on the agenda for the Council’s Executive meeting on 1st October “To review the current operation and future use of Starlight Youth Centre.”
Liberal Democrat councillor Lawrence Patterson says agreement on a permanent and secure future for the club is long overdue and he has written to the Labour Portfolio Holder responsible (Cllr. Tahir Khan) asking for a firm statement that the Starlight Youth Club does have a future and will be kept open.
“It’s time to pull the club back from the cliff edge. Finding a permanent secure future for the club is much more difficult because of the constant state of uncertainty,” says councillor Patterson.
“Labour councillors ran a closure scare story when Liberal Democrats controlled the council even though they knew we had no intention of closing the premises and were discussing ways to secure its future. Now they have put it back on the agenda without giving any clear idea of what they are planning. This just perpetuates the uncertainty and makes a long term solution harder to find.”
“It really is time they took up the negotiations we started with the young people who use the centre and the African Caribbean Community Development Forum who share the building. There is a huge amount of goodwill in the community and a serious desire to take the talks forward in a positive way.”
“Labour councillors should be working to find the right way forward before putting items like this on the formal agenda. If they are seriously thinking about closing the building then they should be honest and say so. If they are not, then why are they not pushing forward with the discussions started under the Liberal Democrats?”