Belfast Telegraph

Monday 1 September 2014

Proposal for Youth Quarter passes the first hurdle

A step towards the creation of a Youth Quarter in Londonderry has won cross-party support from councillors.

The proposal from Sinn Fein’s Eric McGinley that a space should be set up for young people follows the designation of a Cathedral and Arts Quarter in the city.

There are suggestions that the Youth Quarter could incorporate a music space, a movie and internet area, as well as a zone where young people can gather.

Cllr McGinley proposed a motion that a working group to create a Youth Quarter be established.

“There is a real issue around youth provision and meeting the expectation and demands of young people,” he said. “We regularly hear stories of teenage crowds gathering in or near residential areas and subsequent disruption which then takes place.

“What is frustrating for everyone, whether that is the young people themselves, youth workers, PSNI or residents, is that the vast majority of teenagers who gather have little or no interest in alcohol or drugs or rowdiness but merely want to be with their group of friends and have a bit of craic.

“The common theme is that young people have nowhere to go and nothing to do.

“Unfortunately we have to recognise that there is an absence of somewhere that would provide a safe and secure environment which would allow youngsters the opportunity to gather together and enjoy each other's company without worrying about if they are causing a disruption,” he said.

Both the SDLP and the unionist bloc at the council gave their support to the motion.

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