I would like to add some information regarding the recent news item about street crime around part of Highfield in Farnworth (April 29).

Youth services are a cost effective way of focusing children on the right choices in life and deter crime and anti social behaviour.

Young people in the area want youth activities that are walkable to and that are held often enough. Those near Lucas Road can walk down to the youth club in New Bury, currently organised by the Raise the Youth Foundation.

It’s no fun though in the rain and not all parents can run their children to activities and back and many youths have no free bus pass before this 16-year-old Andy Burnham pass kicks in.

The Council’s targeted youth work service is very stretched. There was Courtyard on Plodder Lane twice a week for young people for a while but no more.

Harper Green Leisure Centre used to be open most nights with a charity funded ticket of £1 a child, but the centre closed to combine with the Academy School.

Zac’s Youth Bar do good on-street work but it’s a couple of sessions.

The BWFC Trust provides football sessions a couple of times a week in the area. Not all youths play football. There’s two new sessions a week by the outreach service of the Bolton Lads and Girls Club.

Across Bradford Road, Highfield, Plodder Lane and the Flower Estate, with the surrounding homes, we lack a premises and an increased timetable of youth activities.

Some children's trips have been done on minibuses, but youths are asking for walking distance youth activities rather than a free coach ride to Farnworth or Bolton town centres

. Youth services need to be statutory and funded by the government. Westhoughton has a Lads and Girls Club. Both Bolton Lads and Girls Club on Spa Road and the YMCA on Deansgate are being upgraded and expanded.

There is a mismatch though to the needs of young people living further up from Lucas Road, also on the Flower estate and on Plodder Lane where many say youth provision is inadequate.

Cllr Sue Haworth

Harper Green Ward