Kieran meeting with parish councillors Russel Jones and Claire Hackett (1)

A campaign is underway to save the Shavington Youth Club building.

Members of Shavington-cum-Gresty Parish Council fear the Main Road building’s future is in doubt.

The building was recently closed after it fell into disrepair.

They say responsibility for external repairs rests with Cheshire East Council, and have been backed by MP Kieran Mullan and local Labour councillors.

Parish Councillor Russell Jones said: “I went to the youth club in the 80s and my brother went to it when it was still a primary school.

“I don’t want to see it lost to developers and we need Cheshire East to step up and help us resolve the situation.

“I hope residents will get behind this campaign and help us fight for the youth club building.”

Fellow Parish Councillor Claire Hackett added: “The youth club building is an historic part of the village.

“Generations have fond memories of it throughout it’s history and it is vital that we preserve it for future generations.”

Crewe and Nantwich MP Dr Mullan said: “Shavington Youth Club is a building that is at the heart of the village and so many people have memories of it both as a school and the youth club.

“It is the only significant Cheshire East asset for Shavington residents, and I don’t think it is too much to ask for it to be kept in a good state given all the council tax residents pay.

“For more than a year now I have been looking into ensuring Cheshire East deliver a positive future for the building and we haven’t got anywhere despite the work of some great Parish Councillors and Youth Club representatives.

“But there is now a serious risk that Cheshire East will try and offload the building to private developers or pressure the Parish Council into taking ownership of it.

“The Parish Council could then be left with the bill to pay for its repair and upkeep, which is potentially more than the entire current Parish Council budget.”

Cheshire East Labour Councillor James Barber welcomed the campaign, but said the MP should not shift the blame to Cheshire East.

“As Dr Mullan is well aware, YMCA research has found that spending on youth services has been decimated since 2010, with crippling austerity measures leading to a £737million (62%) decrease in funding from the Government.

“Furthermore, between 2012 and 2016, over 600 youth clubs closed.

“As Cheshire East Council is, in itself, struggling financially due to inadequate funding to Local Government, it would be helpful if Dr Mullan would focus his campaign on securing more funding for Local Government and youth services on the whole, rather than scapegoat the Council.”

Current trustee of Shavington Youth Club Linda Buchanan, added: “There are two issues here. One is re-establishing the youth club, and the other is protecting 140 Main Road from demolition.

“To re-establish the youth club, it will certainly be necessary to ensure central government funds youth services properly.

“If the youth club is to return to 140 Main Road, the charity should no longer be responsible for the building.

“If the building is to remain as a community asset it needs to be run by a management committee with the time and resources to establish a vibrant community hub. For now, the youth club could potentially be relocated to one of the churches, the village hall or the primary school, if these venues are agreeable and suitable.

“In either scenario, I will happily work with Dr Mullan to campaign to save the youth club and put pressure on government to reverse the drastic cuts in youth services.

“In the meantime, it is vitally important that the building at 140 Main Road is not demolished as it is a significant Victorian structure that is part of the fabric of the community, it adds cultural and historical value to the community of Shavington.”

We have contacted Cheshire East Council for their comments and await a reply.

Residents can support the campaign via www.tinyurl.com/shavingtonyouthclub

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