Extra worker could help with Haverhill On The Spot bus

An extra youth worker could be employed to help with the On The Spot bus as the project has under spent.

Youth worker Simon Pickering, who runs the scheme, spoke to Haverhill Town Councillors at last Tuesday’s (January 24) meeting to detail its success.

The On The Spot bus is a van kept at Haverhill Police Station kitted out with computer games and other digital equipment which, twice a week, goes out to areas of Haverhill to give youths something to do.

It aims to reduce anti-social behaviour and is often employed in areas where nuisance behaviour is complained about at Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) meetings.

From June 2010 to April 2011, there were 64 sessions at 15 different locations – of which nine were SNT locations.

There were 345 girls and 688 boys attending.

From April 2011 to November 2011, there were 41 sessions at 12 locations (eight SNT locations), with 224 girls and 550 boys attending.

Mr Pickering said: “Haverhill has come through [the cuts to youth service provision] very well in terms of the amount of youth work we are getting from county, a lot better than Bury St Edmunds which has no youth work, no youth team, no youth club and no youth detached project.”

Haverhill Town Council has already supported the scheme with £4,500, and a further £2,500 came from St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

Mr Pickering said the expenditure from 2010 to 2011 had been £2,586, and from 2011 to 2012 had been £2,445.

“We have been fortunate not to need new tyres or any electrical faults, so we really need to have that money in reserve so we could solve these problems,” he added.

“There is a considerable under spend and we could use that under spend to fund a part-time coordinator to assist with day-to-day running, future development and to increase the volunteer base.”

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