Youth clubs under threat as Tories cut budget

July 9, 2010 4:42 PM
Lucy Nethsingha

Lucy Nethsingha

Youth clubs across Cambridge are under threat as county Tories plan to cut £800,000 from the budget.

Liberal Democrats fear the move which would reduce funding for youth work by around a third, could force clubs to close.

Parish councils could be asked to step in to plug the funding hole because they can raise their precepts without being capped by the government in the same way as district and county councils.

Cambridgeshire County Council has organised a meeting at the Meadows Community Centre in Cambridge on Monday, 12 July to discuss its plans with youth club organisers, staff and parish councils.

Lucy Nethsingha, Lib Dem Spokesperson for Children and Young People said: "The county council is threatening the future of open access youth clubs because they claim they are not focussed on serving children in need.

"These clubs which are open to all young people, often provide the best resources for children who are very much in need. This is particularly true in rural areas where there may be only a small number of 'needy' children in each village. Those children are no less important; in fact in many ways, their isolation means they have fewer opportunities than similar children from an urban area."

Susan van de Ven, Lib Dem Spokesperson for Communities said: "In my division, Great Chishill has a thriving youth club and numbers are growing in Melbourn. There is clearly a need for this provision.

"The county council administration needs to recognise that youth clubs pay dividends many times over; targeting this service for cuts is short sighted."

Tim Stone, who represents Duxford said: "It is well understood that youngsters are less likely to get into trouble if they are involved in activities. These youth clubs have proved a success in engaging with young people in these villages and they must not be sacrificed in this way."

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