I was out talking to local residents in St James’ ward recently with Tunbridge Wells’ MP Greg Clark, and our conversation got around to young people. I was struck by how little there was for them to do in St James’ ward, and Greg wanted to discuss a real “state of the art” youth provision for the area.
And so it was that Greg, myself and Sherwood Borough Councillor Frank Williams visited the Robin Hood pub on Sandhurst Road, to see for ourselves the youth group which has been meeting there for around eight months now.
The new owners of the Robin Hood, Dave and Jo Gardner (click here to read the latest Courier story on them) have a real sense of community. Dave served 26 years with the British Army, spending several years in Germany where the pubs are much more community focused. For Kent County Council’s Youth and Community staff, where budgets are always tight, the function room at the Robin Hood provides an ideally situated venue.
Greg, Frank and I spent much of the two hour and a half we were there just talking to the young people, asking their advice on the ‘perfect youth club’. And I’ve now set up a meeting with officers to discuss how we can begin to make their dream a reality.