Members of a County Durham scout group staged a protest outside their former scout centre following their eviction.

The protest was held on Saturday (September 3) outside Newton Aycliffe Scout Centre on Bluebell Way against the removal of the 1st Newton Aycliffe Scouts from ther purpose-built building.

Attendees said the scouts was an important part of the community and provided a positive outlet for young people.

Councillor Neville Jones said the decision was the "wrong" one and added community support was firmly behind the Save Our Scouts (SOS) campaign.

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He said: "It's a permanent home for all scouts in Newton Aycliffe, the Scout Association.

"Unfortunately, the committee have given one of the Scout Association groups here, 1st Newton Aycliffe Scouts, their notice to leave which is wrong.

"We're trying to overturn the decision, we've got a lot of public opinion on our side.

"We hope that we can persuade the committee to change their mind and let the scouts back in.

"Putting two lots of scouts back on the streets two nights of the week, when there's so much antisocial behaviour already, we just don't need it.

"It needs to continue. [We] need the committee to reconsider the decision and eat a bit of humble pie."

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The Newton Aycliffe Scout Supporters Association (NASSA) building, on Bluebell Way, was established more than 40 years ago after a lengthy community fundraising effort.

Former Scout in Newton Aycliffe and current MP for Sedgefield, Paul Howell, condemned the eviction decision as an “incomprehensible state of affairs”.

Residents echoed this sentiment as they took part in the protest outside the building.

Bernadette Wright, from Aycliffe, said she was pleased with the turnout to the protest and noted how many young people were taking part.

She said: "It was a good turnout, it was the young people that mattered and they're the people who need to turn out for these occasions.

"It just shows that they are truly at the heart of the matter, and that they want what's best for the youth of Aycliffe.

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"That's why today people have turned out to give a level of representation and hopefully they will get the outcome they need.

"This money was raised by people's families, their fathers, who helped to raise the funds to build this purpose-built building for the Scouts to occupy.

"It was never intended for anything other than that, I think the entire community needs to get behind them and show what truly matters to the youth of Aycliffe."