RESIDENTS in Hawkwell are being asked their views on the idea of a "community shelter" for youngsters at the Clements Hall Leisure Centre.

The shelter would provide a dry, safe place for young people in the village to meet all year round.

If it wins public support, the shelter will be provided by Hawkwell Parish Council, partly funded by an Essex County Council grant.

The suggestion emerged from a meeting of interested groups and was strongly supported by youngsters who attended.

Rochford District Council's central area committee supported the scheme and the council has already given planning permission.

Further consultation with residents on the scheme was requested by the district council before work can begin.

Parish council vice-chairman Vic Leach said: "We have requested the shelter to go next to the newly-updated skate facility.

"This site is logical in its proximity to existing youth facilities and its distance from housing.

"The local police regard this facility as a sensible addition and consider it can be policed along with the existing equipment."

Residents should send any comments to the Parish Clerk, Hawkwell Village Hall, Main Road, SS5 4EH by February 29.