A youth club which has been serving the Chorleywood community for over 25 years has been forced to close according to its chairman after the council allegedly put “money over community”.
Rodney Kipps, Chair of Chorleywood Youth Club, claims the club, which has been in his family since its creation, had no other choice other than to close after Three Rivers “kicked them out” of their grounds.
Rodney and his wife, Sue were devasted when they were told the by the council they couldn’t renew their lease.
He said: “After serving the community well for 25 years, the council have washed us out for the simple factor of wanting more money.
“In the kick of a ball, the club has gone up in smoke. We have been a lease holder there for around 20 years and now Chorleywood is left with no venue for the youth – it is a disgrace.
“The council should be helping these clubs, not taking them away.”
Chorleywood Youth Club has been in the Kipps family for over 25 years and has been used by the community as a social club, education centre and much more.
Rodney, 72, believes the council have left the community with nowhere to go.
He said: “It was a great place where kids would socialise and meet people of a similar age in an out-of-school environment. We even held talks on sex education and organised trips.
“Me and my wife are totally gutted and angry. Even though it was managed by YMCA in the past couple of years, we still ran it and were down there every weekend and used to work our lives around it. We are gutted.
“Surely one youth off the street is better than one on.”
Rodney and Sue’s daughter, Sarah, was on the committee when the club was created.
She said: “Upset and anger turned into immense pride in the committee members, who have given their time and commitment to generations of young people of Chorleywoodand served their community. We cannot lose more of the foundations of our community such as this.”
Three Rivers have said they encourage and support the use of youth clubs but questioned the amount of times the youth club was being used.
A spokesperson said: “In this instance the youth club were using the premises for at most two hours a week. A recent initiative to re-start its activities using YMCA resources has struggled to attract more than three or four attendees. The Youth Club did not operate at all for over six months over the past year.
“The Council helped the Youth Club to move and continues to fund and support youth clubs and other activities for young people in Chorleywood and across Three Rivers.”
The council confirmed a new lease has been agreed with a nursery which increases income to the council which funs public services.