YOUNG people in a Cheshire village are fed up with being labelled “troublesome” and “disruptive” and say they must have their voices heard.
Teenagers in Ashton Hayes are speaking out after years of being treated badly and not being listened to by adults.
Emma Bryant, aged 16, of The Meadows, and her friends gather together after school and at the weekend in an area known as “the garages” on Peel Crescent.
She said: “We just hang out there have a laugh and a chat, we don’t cause trouble. It’s a good place because it’s in the centre of the village, well lit and there is somewhere to sit.”
Emma says they are constantly being asked to move on by the police, wardens and residents.
“We are asked to move, which isn’t a problem but the way we are spoken to is. It is as though we don't matter, that we are nothing.
“I can understand that the police may have a hard time dealing with youths, but we have done nothing wrong, we are mistreated.”
Emma says she knows there are teenagers in Ashton causing trouble but they shouldn’t all be labelled as such.
But she and her friends say they have nowhere else to go in the village and they are calling on the council and parish council to get something done.
Gowy Ward councillor Hugo Deynam said that there is an anti-social behaviour problem in the Peel Crescent area.
He said: “At Monday’s parish council meeting three residents turned up to talk about anti-social behaviour in that area.
“I would advise these kids if they are not causing the trouble to stay away from that area so they are not associated with it.”
Parish councillor Pauline Tilley said: “We know there is an issue here, and we know the young people have nothing to do. What I would encourage them to do is to come and talk to us about it.”
The parish council have already formed a group called the Ashton Sports and Recreation Association and are trying to buy a field in the village for community use.
Cllr Tilley said: “We hope this area will be somewhere the young people can go and not disturb others – but it will take a while for it to get sorted.”