Getting teenagers off the streets was the dominant suggestion from people in Brownsover when the Advertiser asked about the new surgery’s proposed community space.
NHS England is hoping to open the new doctors’ surgery on Bow Fell in summer 2018 – a planning application is anticipated in June – with a 100m² space for anyone to use.
Rugby Borough Council held a consultation event at Christ Church on Wednesday (April 26) to gauge residents’ views on what they think the space should be used for.
Mum-of-two Keeley Parker, 30, of Sorrel Drive, was among a number of people who thought provisions for older children was needed to give them something to do, ideally activities that teach them skills.
“It would be nice as something for the youngsters to do in the summer holidays like a youth club, I know a lot of people around here who would help,” she said.
“It’s important to get kids off the streets but there’s nothing for them to do. All they do is hang around the shops but there’s nothing around here to entertain them.
We need to give them hope instead of there being nothing here to do, I think that’s important.Mum-of-two Keeley Parker
“They need to be quite clever with what they do as it needs to be something to get them up there but it can’t be too babyish as they won’t go, but we want to help them.”
“I think parents would also get involved because there’s a lot of people around here who want to help but don’t know how.”
She added: “We need to give them hope instead of there being nothing here to do, I think that’s important.”
Brownsover has been waiting two years for a new doctors’ surgery after the one on Bow Fell closed in April, 2015, and its replacement has suffered numerous delays.
NHS England intends to hand the freehold of the space to the council, and the local authority wants to hear the community’s views on what should be on offer when it opens.
The council’s regeneration projects officer Lee Kirkbride believes it would be a good opportunity for a community organisation or charity to grow.
“At this stage we’re getting ideas from people before the NHS submits its planning application,” he said.
“There’s no point us deciding what’s needed in Brownsover, it’s better to ask Brownsover what’s needed in Brownsover.”
Workers at the nearby Tesco Express echoed Keeley’s thoughts about needing to entertain teenagers as they see plenty of anti-social behaviour.
“Out the front you get a lot of teenagers messing around, or even younger than that. They need somewhere with pool tables and stuff to get them off the streets and stop stealing our chocolate,” Adam Thomas said half-jokingly.
Adam’s Tesco colleague Kirsty Goodfellow said there is lot of unemployment in Brownsover so something to help people without jobs would be good too.
“We get a lot of people asking for jobs in here as we’re one of the biggest businesses,” she added.
Linda Griffin, 72, lives around the corner from Brownsover Surgery with her husband Bruce, and cannot wait for the new doctors’ to open.
“It would be ideal as we wouldn’t have to go into town to see a GP, so it would absolutely perfect for people like me or people with young kids,” she said.
“And it’s time as well as I have to leave 45 minutes before my appointment.
“There are quite a few elderly people around here from what I’ve seen so it would be good for them.”
The consultation ends on May 2. To take part online visit www.rugby.gov.uk/bowfell.