Driven to drink by boredom

YOUTHS in Cheddar are being let down" and turning to alcohol, according to village leaders and the police. In a meeting with the parish council this week, PC Bartlett told councillors he was concerned about youths drinking alcohol on the streets. Council

YOUTHS in Cheddar are being "let down" and turning to alcohol, according to village leaders and the police.In a meeting with the parish council this week, PC Bartlett told councillors he was concerned about youths drinking alcohol on the streets.Councillor Ceri Davies told the council he thought part of the problem was that the children were bored. He said: "We are letting the youth of this village down. We should provide something for them to do at night."PC Bartlett told the council: "We need to get local shops involved in the Pub Watch scheme, so that they are aware of what these youths are doing."The police believe that older youths are buying the alcohol and then supplying it to the younger children.Pubs signed up to the Pub Watch scheme are connected via radios, and can warn each other of persistent trouble-makers in the area. In a previous meeting, councillors had expressed concern over alcohol and drug abuse in Cheddar. 'Lack of parental responsibility' was said to be the main cause of the problem, and one resolution could be to put up mobile CCTV cameras in problem areas. Cllr Davies also suggested that Sedgemoor District Council should make allowances in the budget to pay for some youth activities. Bristol City Council already has a youth bus project, available to churches. It enables them to reach the children and youths in the parishes and encourages them to socialise in a safe and friendly environment. The bus is equipped with computers, a games console, coffee machines, running water and microwaves to keep the children entertained.Cllr Davies added: "We need to provide for the youths. I would be willing to give up my time to run a youth facility, and I hope others would do the same.

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