Parents of tragic Tom in youth services vow
THE parents of a teenager who took his own life have pledged to improve youth services if they are elected to Poynton Town Council.
Paul Acton and his wife Gaynor Dyos-Acton are standing as candidates for the Poynton East ward.
Their son Tom DyosActon, 16, killed himself in 2013 after struggling to cope with problems including bullying and drugs use.
who recently marked what would have been Tom’s 18th birthday, want to start a youth centre to give children someone to go for support and advice.
Gaynor, 46, said: “While this town has some youth services there’s isn’t enough to give children a place where they can chill out, talk about their problems and avoid the dangers of drugs.
“Since Tom’s death there have been other deaths of young people in this town, which I believe point to a serious problem.
“Paul and I want to do this to help all the young people in the town by giving them somewhere to go to avoid problems.
“We also want it to be a place where parents can come for support and advice on how to help their children.
“We want to avoid any further tragedies.”
Gaynor and Paul, 48, of Nickleby Road, Poynton, are members of a sevenstrong band of nonpolitical candidates who have united under the banner North East Cheshire Independents.
Others contesting the nine seats on the council include two-time mayor of Poynton Gabor Bartos, Tony Hall, Bryan Reginald Lewis, Matt West and Cheshire East Councillor Roger West.
The remaining nine candidates represent the Conservative Party include: Les Berry, Laurence Alan Clarke, Charles Arthur Gorst, Tim Holbrook, Rebecca Ann Horsman-Johnson, Geoff King, Howard Murray, Jos Saunders and Mike Sewart.
Speaking on behalf of the Poynton Conservative group of candidates, Howard Murray said it is committed to supporting young people but believes a youth club is not the way forward.
He said: “It is more difficult to find suitable volunteers today, and modern child protection rules, while vital, increase the complexity and expense of administration. A further problem is finding suitable premises.
“Several times we have asked young people if they wanted a youth club and the answer was always a resounding ‘NO’.
“These are some of the reasons why the Town Council focused on activities and not facilities for the young. The council needs also to ensure that it is not seen as assuming the role and responsibilities of parents.”
Meanwhile, on the other side of the town, there are 11 candidates battling it out for nine spots on the council, representing Poynton west ward.
They include Conservative candidates Michael John Beanland, Alex Cropper, Sarah-Jane Gilmore, Andrew Gordon Hall, Ian Hollinworth, Sandra Francis Horsman, Tracey Lorde, Joan Margaret Sewart, Graham Frank Smith, Isabel Clare Thornton-Maddocks and Nicky Wylie.
The remaining two candidates – Alex Cropper and Andrew Gordon Hall – represent the Green party.
●● Gaynor Dyos-Acton with her son Tom who killed himself two years ago