ANNEX C: VISIT NOTE - YOUNG PEOPLE IN
MARGATE, 18 OCTOBER 2006
Dr Phyllis Starkey MP (Chair)
Lyn Brown MP
Mr Greg Hands MP
Dr John Pugh MP
Nigel Cross (Thanet Youth
Kirra Contento (Thanet
Robert Ward (Charles Dickens
Jameelah Bowden (Charles
Mat Hayes (Hereson School)
Alex Fitzjohn (Hereson
Dan Parkinson (Hereson
Kyle Daniel (Hereson School)
Zak Bowra (Hereson School)
The Chair opened the meeting by outlining the purpose
of the Committee's inquiry.
The general view expressed by the young people was
that there is not much for them to do in Margate in evenings or
at weekends. The lack of any kind of youth centre or sports facilities
meant that young people generally stayed home or hung around on
street corners, which led to the possibility of drinking and fights.
Miss Contento said that
the local council had organised summer activities, including bowling,
skating and mountain biking, which had proved popular and been
well attended, but that the funding was not available to do this
all year round.
The group from Hereson School said that most young
people in and around the town expected to move away when they
left school, not least because of job opportunities. There was
plenty of manual labour around, particularly in the building trade,
but few, if any, opportunities for office work. Most would think
about living in London.
There were summertime jobs available for their age
group. Several said they would consider staying in the area if
better-quality jobs were available. They felt pushed to go elsewhere
in search of work. Two of the Hereson group had moved into the
area from Bradford and Huddersfield: each felt their previous
home had had more to offer people their age, and each intended
to move away.
The Hereson group said that weed was the most easily-and
pretty easily-obtainable drug. Harder drugs were less prevalent.
They believed that most drugs arrived in the area from London.
One of the group also said the local police could
spend more time trying to deal with local drug sales; at present,
particularly on weekends, too much of their time was spent dealing
with routine trouble, such as street fights. Indeed, there was
a general feeling that the police were not sufficiently visible.
There was a general feeling that Margate, in particular among
local towns, was a trouble spot. None of the group had themselves
been beaten up, but several knew people who had.
Absence of youth facilities
The pupils from Charles Dickens school said that
there was little to do in town at weekends, which were spent largely
phoning friends, meeting in the town, or watching television or
doing coursework at home.
One of the Hereson group said that things were easier
for younger people in the summer because of the beach"but
you can't go there every day".
Relationship with older people
On relationships with older people, one of the Hereson
group suggested younger people tended to be branded as bad apples
on the basis of isolated incidents.
Asked how many of them intended to go on to university,
three of the eight put their hands up.