Saturday, 19 December 2009

Two ways to tackle Newquay's problems

Over the summer, Newquay had a number of problems involving the combination of alcohol and young people. Most tragically, there were the deaths of Paddy Higgins and Andrew Curwell who fell from the cliffs around the town.

Two very different ways of tackling the problem have been evidenced in the past few days.

The Tories sent George Osborne to the resort to issue soundbites.

But Newquay Town Council has other ideas and backed a plan by my colleague Geoff Brown (a Newquay Town Councillor as well as Lib Dem Cornwall Councillor, although it should be stressed that this scheme is totally non-political). Geoff and his wife will spend two to three days per week for thirteen weeks during the spring travelling to Berkshire to speak in schools. They aim to reach every school in the county and to speak to every pupil in year 11 and chose Berkshire because it was where Paddy came from.

Their message will be that Newquay is a great place for a holiday, but that alcohol can ruin that holiday. It isn't just the tragic accidents that meant that Paddy and Andrew lost their lives. At the luch lower end of the scale, too much alcohol can mean a miserable time. Please come to Newquay, but please don't ruin it for yourselves or for others.

Full marks to Geoff and to Newquay Town Council for reaching out in this way. Perhaps Mr Osborne could learn something from their work.

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