A ROW has erupted over a youth shelter which critics say has become a magnet for drug dealing and antisocial behaviour.

The shelter, in Poole Lane, Hullbridge, has been in place for almost two decades but parish councillors feel it is now only used by drug users and vandals.

Deniz Borg says he is considering resigning from the parish council who refuse to have it demolished.

He said: "The problems we have had with it are horrendous.

"There's drug dealing, drug using, fights and other antisocial behaviour which starts in the car park and then they use the shelter as well.

"We regularly find needles and other drug paraphernalia in the area which is creating a danger to children and anyone else who wants to use it.

"Me and a few other councillors have been pushing for it to be knocked down. We have had police tell us it is more trouble than it is worth.

"I think there is resistance to removing it because they got a grant of about £6,000 to put it up years ago but to use that as a reason to keep it is just absurd.

"The council is also constantly having to spend money to remove graffiti or to repair it when it is damaged."

But not all councillors feel the shelter is enough of a problem to be demolished.

David Jeffries, who has been on the council since 2012, said: "The shelter was put up about 20 years ago to give the youths in the area somewhere to congregate because they were causing problems outside the library.

"Some councillors believe it's attracting drug dealing but I am less concerned about that. We have had that in the car park and the drug paraphernalia is usually found about 50ft away from the shelter."

The issue was recently put to a vote at a meeting of the parish council last week but was defeated by seven votes to five.

Council chairman Angelina Marriot said the problem can be readdressed in the future.

She added: "We took a vote and it was voted to keep it. We will reconsider it further down the line.

"There are going to be problems of one kind or another wherever you go and the council decided collectively that it should stay.

"My personal view is that the costs and other issues surrounding its removal need to be looked at further before a discussion can be head about knocking it down."