THE 4th Teignmouth Scouts has a history stretching back over 100 years.
An all-inclusive charity group, it provides safe activities and learning for local young people.
The Scouts have faced a challenging past 20 years; their existing accommodation is at full capacity and there is a large waiting list of young people wanting to join.
After an arson attack spoiled the scout hut at Bitton Park the the mid 1990s, the group was were based in the Ice Factory, Somerset Place.
It took 10 years of hard work to raise the £12,000 required to replace the hut with a second-hand porta-cabin, put in place at Bitton in June 2004.
Teignbridge District Council would only allow them a 10-year lease, precluding the opportunity to seek grants and secure their future.
The only way forward was to request Teignmouth Town Council to acquire the piece of land where the scout and cadet huts are sited.
The current Town Clerk, Iain Wedlake, is confident that this will shortly become a reality without it being high-cost to taxpayers. It will give hope for youth groups to move towards an assured future.
Scout chairman, Clive Wetton said: ‘The site at the bottom of Bitton Park, originally under Teignmouth urban district council, was set aside for the youth of the town.
‘Originally it has locked gates and provided a parade ground but it has become a dangerous car park, attracting abandoned vehicles and fly tipping.
‘Unsupervised and unmaintained, it is used as a parking area with no street lighting or CCTV and needs immediate action.’
Clive is determined to provide facilities for the town’s young people who have been given so little and has sent out a clear message to the town council.
‘Some councillors seem to have reservations regarding proposals to reconfigure the site and bring it up to date but as there is no other land available in Teignmouth, this is the only real option.
‘If the scheme is not supported by councillors, and the site stays at the status quo – it is highly unlikely our youth groups will survive.
‘The scout movement has made a huge difference to so many young lives over the past 100 years in Teignmouth.
'At Remembrance Sunday, they turn out in force and this town should be very proud of them.’