New byelaws which will ban teenagers from skateboarding and playing football in an anti-social hotspot have been branded as ‘ill-judged’.
The deputy leader of South Ribble’s opposition Labour group spoke out against the plans for the council to introduce byelaws at the Tesco car park and town square area in Leyland.
Coun Paul Foster said: “We were all young once, and the vast, overwhelming majority of young people just want somewhere to hang out, be with friends and cause no nuisance whatsoever.
“We, as the local council, should be putting all our efforts into supporting young people, not introducing complex, draconian byelaws when many other options could be explored.
“This is an example of an ill-judged decision by an out-of-touch cabinet.”
Coun Keith Martin added: “I find it odd that we criticise young people for sitting in front of the TV, and then when they want to go out, we look to move them on.”
The report, which was passed by the council’s cabinet committee at a previous meeting, was agreed by the full council last week, by a majority of 25 to 18.
Conservative councillor Phil Hamman, who represents the Leyland St Mary’s ward, said: “The police have spoken to these youths and they do want to hang out there, and we’re not against them being there; it is a meeting place for the residents of Leyland. What we want is to stop skateboarding and footballs, for the protection of residents and nearby shopkeepers.”
He said shopfronts hadbeen damaged by footballs and skaters caused a ‘danger’ to passers-by.
The proposed byelaws, which cover other areas of Leyland, including car parks at the leisure centre, railway station, Civic Centre and the market, will go before the Government for a final decision.