CHILDREN held a silent protest to highlight concerns over how their village institute was being run.
Up to two dozen youngsters gathered with banners and placards before the annual general meeting of the Silverdale Village Institute.
It comes after trustees blocked plans to install a skatepark on the field next to the institute, in Spring Bank, last year.
The institute is made up of six elected members and ten representatives from local organisations.
At the AGM, which the Gazette was barred from attending, local people voted against re-electing its six members and a new committee was formed.
Seven people who represented local organisations have also resigned since the meeting was held last Thursday night.
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Tim Stothert, who replaced Kelvin Mashiter as chairman, and who also represents Silverdale Youth Group, has promised to bring the institute into the ‘21st Century’.
Mr Stothert, who is the first new chairman for 40 years, told the Gazette it was a ‘time for change and that it was coming’.
“The old guard don’t want to see any change but if we don’t have any kids or families in Silverdale the village will die.
“It is an exciting moment but I don’t want to gloat over it,” he said.
“I want to build bridges and have a group of people running the institute for the benefit of all residents.
“I will push for activities for children on the field and for things to do in the hall.
“I also want to modernise the hall and bring the whole institute into the 21st Century.”
Chairman of Silverdale Parish Council Terry Bond said people had been stopping him in the street much more since the meeting.
“Much of it has been about how some of the organisational representatives are resigning, others about moving activities to a different venue, even some comments about how bad an example was set by the 'older' section of the meeting doing a mass walk out before the end of the meeting.
“It should be remembered that the unwillingness of the old Institute committee to work with and involve the younger section of the community has led to a drastic change in the make-up of trustees.
“Continuance of this by non-cooperation with the new committee does nothing for relations between the age groups of this village.”
Mr Mashiter declined to comment when contacted by the Gazette.