Support for right to bid could mean hope for Bognor youth clubs

Bognor Regis Town Council voted to support a community right to bid on two endangered youth clubs at a Community Engagement and Environment Committee meeting this Monday (October 5)

Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 5:29 pm

A community right to bid on two youth clubs was supported by Bognor Regis Town Councillors in a meeting of the Community Engagement and Environment Committee this week.

The Phoenix Centre, on the Regis School campus in Westloats Lane, is one of two youth centres in Bognor Regis due to lose some services at the end of the month, following a decision by West Sussex County Council earlier this year. The other is the Find It Out centre, which is based in what used to be Club 39, on Church Path, near Glamis Street.

In a meeting held on Monday (October 4), the Community Engagement and Environment Committee unanimously agreed to support a move by Sussex Clubs for Young People to initiate a community right to bid on both buildings, preventing a local authority like West Sussex County Council from taking action without a consultation.

The Phoenix Centre, on The Regis School campus

The organisation provides activities like football tournaments, driving tasters and theatre trips for children and young people all over the county, and it has been running weekly activities atboth venues for some time.

Speaking in the meeting, Councillor Samantha-Jayne Staniforth explained that the organisation hopes to follow-up on their community right to bid with an application for an asset transfer, which would allow them to use The Phoenix Centre as they see fit.

Addressing the committee, Cllr Jim Brooks said: “The idea of losing these (facilities) at this time, with what’s going on is a madness.

“I remember when I first visited (The Phoenix Centre) and it was like the Starship Enterprise. I couldn’t imagine children not wanting to be involved with it, and I’m sure they were when it was properly promoted.”

Committee chair Wayne Smith echoed those sentiments, adding: “I, personally, think we should do everything we can to support these clubs.”