Councillors' show of support for Barcode

SUPPORT for securing the long-term future of Weston's youth cafe is gathering pace. In under two weeks' time Weston town councillors will vote to either extend the existing lease for Barcode Youth Cafe for eight years, postpone making a decision for anoth

SUPPORT for securing the long-term future of Weston's youth cafe is gathering pace.In under two weeks' time Weston town councillors will vote to either extend the existing lease for Barcode Youth Cafe for eight years, postpone making a decision for another year or decide to close the under 18s venue in October.A Weston & Somerset Mercury poll of town councillors shows an overwhelming majority back plans to safeguard the South Parade venue for years to come. Of the 28 contacted, almost 80 per cent support extending the lease for eight years.Just three councillors opted to delay a decision on Barcode's future for another year.Conservative councillors have raised concerns in recent weeks about how the youth cafe will be funded in the future.At a meeting of the council's planning and resources committee on Monday, Tory members presented town clerk Linda Larter with their own calculations for Barcode's accounts which showed the cost as much higher than the official figures.But Mrs Larter told the Weston & Somerset Mercury she has looked again at the council's figures in comparison and no alterations were necessary. Letters of support for Barcode and offers of help to keep it open have continued to flood into Grove House this week ahead of the decision to be taken on March 13.Councillors who would vote in favour of extending the lease for Barcode by eight years are Andrew Horler, Mike Bell, Astra Brand, Mark Canniford, Joan Dunne, David Evans, Jenny Gosden, Brian Hampson, Charles Heard, Derek Kraft, Michael Kellaway-Marriott, Keith Morris, Ian Parker, June Parker, Diane Parslow, Robert Payne, Ian Porter, Sally Tabrett, Tim Taylor, Richard Tucker, Clive Webb and Paula Howell.Those in favour of delaying a decision on Barcode's future for one year are Andrew Wright, John Ley-Morgan and Colin Golland. Councillors Roz Willis and Ian Baker chose not to comment while David Roxburgh, Roger Perks and Mari Owens could not be contacted.The Weston & Somerset Mercury also contacted the town's MP, John Penrose, to ask whether he would be in favour of signing the lease to secure the cafe's future but he declined to comment as he has not had chance to investigate Barcode's finances for himself.


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