Grassed off kids have nowhere to play

YOUNGSTERS in some parts of Somerset have no green areas or parks to play in despite being surrounded by countryside. There are almost 100

YOUNGSTERS in some parts of Somerset have no green areas or parks to play in despite being surrounded by countryside.There are almost 100 youngsters in the parishes of Compton Bishop and Cross, but residents and councillors say there is nothing for them to do and no green areas that can be used as a recreation area.Much of the vast array of land is privately owned by farmers and residents.Many of the teenagers have to travel to Axbridge or Cheddar to access facilities including the youth clubs and leisure centre and some have resorted to vandalising benches and bus stops due to boredom.Compton Bishop Parish Council is now planning to carry out a survey to find out what the young people in the parish would like. Parish council clerk Paul Passey said: "There are quite a number of youngsters in the community but no play area, football pitch or tennis court and no public land for them. We've got the Mendip Hills and a great deal of open space, but nothing in terms of a recreation area for youngsters."Through the survey, we are hoping to discover what the needs of the youngsters are."Councillor Chris Byrne said: "I've been asking for something for the children over and over again. "We need a farmer to lease out an acre of land so we can turn it into a play area."There's a lot of vandalism in the bus shelters and youngsters kicking balls into people's gardens and breaking glass on the notice boards."We also used to have graffiti on our walls and eggs thrown at people's cars because the youngsters were so bored."Young families move into the village but the children never get a chance to meet anyone because there's nowhere for them to play."Mr Byrne also believes the memorial hall could be used more often by youngsters.Parents can book private parties for their children but the only groups which meet regularly in the hall are for adults, such as the wine tasting, Rotary, gardening, yoga clubs and a community coffee morning.The memorial hall's management committee has said it welcomes clubs for youngsters but nobody has offered to run any groups. Mr Byrne is asking parents to appeal to the council for more facilities to try to get something done.Councillors are now drafting the questionnaires ready to send out to villagers in Compton Bishop, Cross, Webbington and Rackley.

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