‘A pub for teens is a great idea’

13-year-battle: Andy Farrell at the closed Queens Hotel on Golden Hill Lane
13-year-battle: Andy Farrell at the closed Queens Hotel on Golden Hill Lane
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‘Leyland should open a pub just for teenagers’.

A campaigner fighting to stamp out anti-social behaviour in Leyland thinks a revolutionary idea to open a non-alcoholic pub for teens is the answer to the town’s youth problems.

Andy Farrell, 45, from Moss Lane, says a brand new approach is needed to tackle the issue once and for all.

He has kept hold of some council documents from 1999 which outline action points to reduce anti-social behaviour on the streets, but says not much has changed since then.

“It lists key objectives which are still relevant today,” he said. “The priorities are things like theft, violence, nuisance, drugs and alcohol problems, so these issues should have been dealt with back in 1999.

“These problems are still around now, and a lot of the ideas are just being re-hashed in the council’s new My Neighbourhood Forum plans.

“I understand that things take time, but not 13 years.”

One potential solution raised in the 1999 document is to open a pub for youths in South Ribble, and Mr Farrell thinks it would be a good way forward.

“I thought that was a brilliant idea,” he said. “I don’t know why they didn’t look into more at the time, but now would be an ideal opportunity to try it because of all the pubs which are closing in Leyland, like the Queens Hotel.

“If this had been introduced in 1999 and allowed time to progress, we wouldn’t be seeing the level of anti-social behaviour that we are now.

“The teens wouldn’t be congregating at places like Tesco and McDonalds because they’d have a completely different mindset; they’d have somewhere better to go.”

He added: “Sixteen and 17-year-olds aren’t interested in community centres. You can put on the biggest event the town has seen, and they wouldn’t go.

“We need a drastic change instead of just re-branding these strategies to crack down on the problems.”

A spokesman for the Scottish and Newcastle Pub Company, which owns the Queens Hotel on the corner of Golden Hill Lane and Chapel Brow, said: “The pub is up for sale, and whilst a non-alcoholic pub would not traditionally fit into Scottish and Newcastle’s current business plan, should an individual decide to run the pub and pursue such an opportunity, we would support them.”

- What do you think? Email kay.taylor@lep.co.uk