LEDBURY residents have given a mixed response to news that a domed-roofed aluminium mini-theatre, with seating, could replace the existing youth shelter on the recreation ground.

Cllr Tony Bradford, chairman of the town's environment and leisure committee, recently met with local adults, young people and the police during a site visit, to discuss what might be done about the existing shelter, with has been a focus for anti-social behaviour.

Having carried out consultation, Cllr Bradford is calling for the shelter to be replaced with a structure that young people, in particular, will feel they own.

Cllr Bradford said: "I think this is a positive thing. It's a lifetime ownership strategy. The youth of this town must not feel as though we have abandoned them.

"It's all about encouraging a sense of ownership. The proposed new shelter would be like a mini-theatre, with seating."

Cllr Bradford added: "I don't think the new shelter would be vandalised, because it would be for them, for the people of this town. The existing shelter is just a bus shelter, basically; and it is horrible."

The new shelter could be a focus for art works by young people and, with power points, for live music events, it would also double as bandstand.

The aluminium structure would be strong, but moveable; so the best place for the new shelter could be found by trial and error.

Ideally, "in the medium or long term," Cllr Bradford would like to see Wi-Fi and charging points, perhaps even a screen. The shelter could also have solar lighting

Cost for a new shelter would be in the region and £10,000, or more, depending on the specifications, and the project can only go ahead subject to the go ahead from the full Ledbury town council.

But the idea has already divided public opinion.

Posting of the Voice of Ledbury Facebook site, Ledbury resident, Ann Marsh said: "It is a lovely idea maybe the young people would take care of it if they were involved in the running of it; given the chance it might make them see that there is at least one good place that they could all get together to do the things that interest them."

And Melissa Hunt called it "a great idea".

She added: "Make sure the kids are involved in the decisions as much as possible. The more of them that are involved, the more likely it is that they will look after it."

But other residents did not agree, and a number of local people asked why the old youth centre off Bye Street, could not be re-opened instead.

Russ Smith said: "Here's a thought - if there is a need for something that's like a mini-theatre, how about the theatre we have?

"And If you want somewhere with power, lighting, wi-fi for the youth then how about the youth centre?

I know, I know, it's revolutionary isn't it?"

Other residents believed the new shelter would be a waste of public money.

Julie Davies said: "Ten grand on something for the youths to destroy is total waste of money.

"Spend it on re-opening the old youth centre if anything, or just spend it on something the town actually needs."