North Ayrshire Council are ‘right out of ideas’ about how to tackle youth disorder in the Rivergate shopping mall, a councillor admitted last week.

Ongoing youth problems in the mall was again discussed by community councillors last week, after the Times highlighted rising numbers of police call outs.

But Irvine West SNP Cllr Shaun Macaulay told them: “As a council we will continue to think of new things for young people to do – but right now we’re out of ideas.”

NAC Community education officer Liz Sullivan said: “We’ve really got a core group there of 12 young people – although there’s often 50 of them hanging about the one bit.

“We know who they are, we engage with them in all the high schools in North Ayrshire. We ask them basic questions like, do you want to do something else? Would you rather not be in the mall?

“They’re like, ‘to be honest I just want to get drunk, and if I came to you I know I couldn’t do that’.

“There is provision in the town centre but it’s not everybody’s cup of tea to do arts or sports but we’re still exploring ideas.”

Asked if the council involve their parents, Liz added: “In some instances yes, but some will be looked after and accommodated in a region outside North Ayrshire and they travel to this area to meet with friends.”