County 'bottom of the class' for young people

June 15, 2007 10:42 AM

A cross-party scrutiny committee has ranked Cambridgeshire as the worst of 133 local authorities for spending on 13 to 19 year olds.

The Children and Young People's Scrutiny Committee gave a dire report on the state of youth services in Cambridgeshire to the Council's Cabinet this week. The Scrutiny Committee expressed serious concerns about the level of youth funding in Cambridgeshire. The committee expressed concern on the over-reliance on external funding as well as the falling levels of performance of the service. The Cabinet merely noted the report

Councillor Anne Kent, Lib Dem Spokesman for Children and Young People's, commented:

"This is a damning report of the County Council's failure to fund youth services properly. It is disgraceful that Cambridgeshire comes 133rd out of 133 local authorities, measured by the independent National Youth Agency, in spending on our 13 to 19 year olds.

"Youth workers are having to spend far too much of their time looking for funding rather than working with young people. This is not a sustainable way to run a youth service. We are too dependent on handouts from other organisations and charities.

"Some schemes in Cambridgeshire, like the Fusion project on the Oxmoor estate in Huntingdon, are providing excellent youth work but the County Council is putting work like this at risk by consistent under-funding. The youth work that is provided in the county is of a very high quality which is why it is such a pity that there is not money to do more."

Councillor Anne Kent

Cllr Anne Kent

Cambridgeshire spends just £41.20 per young person on the core budget for 13 to 19 year olds.

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