Young people’s worth

THERE was a piece in the papers last week saying that kids in this country have the worst deal of any in the developed world. Of course, we were told that the data was out of date, but so was everyone else s. For some time there has been an attempt in So

THERE was a piece in the papers last week saying that kids in this country have the worst deal of any in the developed world. Of course, we were told that the data was out of date, but so was everyone else's.

For some time there has been an attempt in Soham to connect with the kids on the streets and try to get something going for them. This costs £2,000 per year and has had to stop because funding wasn't available. The youth club at the Lode Centre had to close for the same reason. If the young people of Soham aren't worth £39 a week between them for something that can make a difference, then perhaps the data wasn't so far wrong.

The good news is that the youth club opened again last night (Wednesday) with activities specifically aimed at pupils from years 8, 9 and 10. Let's hope that everyone can work together on this one.

Fag break?

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APPARENTLY, the councils can't afford £2,000 to help our deprived young people, but they are able to spend a fortune on employing and training "smoke spies" to slink around pubs and restaurants and sneak on anyone using tobacco indoors when the ban comes in. In the interests of personal freedom I wonder if the spies are allowed a fag break while they are working, and, if they are, where can they take it?

Another use

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IT'S not only the drain next to The Causeway that benefits from polystyrene take-away boxes being strewn about. If you have a look around the church hall you can see plenty of them there. It's nice to know that a derelict building still has its uses. It is also a good place to find empty lager cans and, why I can't imagine, four car tyres.

The groundswell of public opinion to keep the hall is growing. There is a petition circulating in the town and the promise of more activity at the weekend. Actually, a new church hall would be an excellent place for a youth club, but if £2,000 is too much, where would half a million come from?

Helping themselves

LOTS of people in Soham have benefited from the town's MAGPAS First Responders. These are the volunteers who dash out to a possible heart attack or stroke victim and do their best to keep the patient going until the paramedics arrive with the ambulance.

It costs about £5,000 to get a scheme up and running and the good people of Wicken are about halfway towards getting their own scheme set up. They are holding a Lifesaver Launch on Saturday in the village hall from 5pm onwards. Later in the evening, there will be dancing to the Footloose Dance Orchestra. All this for £3.50 per head. What are you waiting for? Visit Tyler's Farm Shop today or call 01353 721991.

Bound for London

I HAD to go to London the other week. I thought I'd try the coach. It got there in two hours and it cost £13.60 return from Newmarket.

There was an item in the paper last week saying how much MPs claimed in 2005/ 2006 in travelling expenses. Our local representative, who lives in Fordham, had received a total of £7,400. If he had used the coach, that makes 544 trips. Given the long holidays they have from Westminster that probably works out at three or four return coach trips each working day.

Got a good cause?

Soham's annual charity ball has raised plenty of funds for local charities and good causes. The organising committee will soon be meeting to decide how to divide the proceeds and would be happy to hear from any local organisations who would like to be considered for a share. Write to Jenny Harvey at 18 Greenhills, Soham, fairly soon.

There is another chance to hear the Joe Loss Orchestra next month at a charity event at the Maltings in Ely on March 20. Proceeds will go to the Lewin Stroke and Rehab Unit at Addenbrooke's Hospital in memory of Mrs Ruth Harvey. Tickets are £15 each and are available on 01353 721748 or 07702 522363.

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