Row is brewing over youth cafe's future

A FLAGSHIP youth project in Weston should be moved as it is costing too much money - according to a town councillor. Cllr John Ley-Morgan says Barcode in

A FLAGSHIP youth project in Weston should be moved as it is costing too much money - according to a town councillor.Cllr John Ley-Morgan says Barcode in South Parade should relocate or should be broken down into smaller youth cafes across the area.He said: "Although I am supportive of the youth cafe's concept it is likely to make a loss of £104,000 this year and I do not think the town council can sustain that cost. "Tax payers shouldn't have to either for the comparatively low number of youngsters who use it."There is a limited income from people who use it and the cost of running it is one we cannot justify."We cannot budget on hoped-for sponsorships and run life on maybes. "I would like to see lots of different venues across town or we could move it into The Blakehay which would be an ideal place as the theatre would also benefit."Weston's prospective parliamentary candidate, Mike Bell, who is also a town councillor, says he disagrees with many of Cllr Ley-Morgan's views.He said: "Barcode has been a brilliant success. More than 20,000 kids have gone through its doors so far, which is testament to how great it is."Police have said the concept has reduced anti-social behaviour and we should celebrate its success. We do need to keep costs down but everything the town council does costs money."I do agree we should look at renegotiating the cost of the lease but if it isn't broke, don't fix it."Barcode opened its doors in October 2005 and since then it has held karaoke competitions and discos and has hosted live sets from unsigned young bands.The youth cafe, which was campaigned for by Weston Youth Town Council and the town council itself, received a lottery grant of £4,966 last year.The venue has also featured on the front page of national magazine Young People Now.

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