Somerton youth shelter restored after long delay
Young people in Somerton finally have a place to meet in the dry after the long-awaited restoration of a shelter.
Somerton town councillors are also celebrating after the youth shelter was reinstalled near the skate park at Somerton Recreation Ground after a six month delay.
The all-weather facility and its concrete base cost the council around £5,000 to buy and install.
The youth shelter project was the idea of councillors Jane Cook and Sharon Coates.
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Mrs Coates said: “I’m glad it is finally done.
“It was intended to be there for the young people to use in the summer holidays last year but then it had to be redesigned.
“It is nice to finally have a shelter which is fit for purpose. It is a multi-purpose shelter which is primarily for use by young people, but is for everyone.
“It can be used by mums when their children are running about playing.”
She said if the shelter is well used there could be a case for getting a second one.
A youth shelter was originally installed on the recreation ground last summer but the council was forced to return it to the supplier due to faults shortly afterwards.
Some of the shelter’s plastic panels came out of the frame and the shelter was considered so dangerous it had to be cordoned off and removed.
It then spent six months at manufacturer Broxap’s Newcastle-under-Lyme factory after the company decided there was no way to solve the problem without the shelter undergoing a complete redesign.
Late last year, after a long wait with no update, frustrated councillors finally gave Broxap an ultimatum to have the equipment fixed and reinstalled by the end of January.
Mrs Cooke said: “Nobody was more frustrated than Sharon and I about how long it was taking.
“Hopefully the young people will appreciate all the work that has gone into getting it.
“It fits in very nicely with what is there already and it does provide very good protection against the wind.”
At a recent meeting of Somerton Town Council’s land and properties committee, chairman Barrie Davies reported the redesigned shelter had been installed and inspected and was now suitable.
Councillors agreed to seek a discount on the shelter because of the design fault and long delay.
Mrs Coates said: “We shouldn’t have to pay the full price because it was meant to be installed for the school holidays. They did put it right in the end but we had to keep chasing them.”
Councillor Margaret Chambers said: “We’ve become the guinea pigs for the new design.
“Hopefully it will be a great design and they can use the pictures of our lovely youth shelter for publicity.”
The council has yet to receive confirmation of any discount.