TEENAGERS protested in vain yesterday over plans for drastic reductions in Wiltshire’s youth service which will save the council £110,000 this year but lead to “significant” redundancies.

Dozens of young people from all over the county packed the council chamber in Trowbridge to make their views known to its rulers.

But Cabinet member Laura Mayes told them that if the changes did not happen, there might not be a youth service in future.

Under the new ‘community led’ system taking effect in October, most funding for youth services will be devolved to the council’s area boards, and shared out among them according to factors including population and deprivation.

Each area will have one trained community youth office’ who will be expected to act as the ‘go to’ person for youngsters in need of advice and guidance while also  helping community groups and volunteers to take over and organise activities.

New Local Youth Networks involving young people, councillors, voluntary groups, schools and the police will work with and advise the area boards on priorities.

A few youth support workers, managed centrally, will target help at particularly vulnerable youngsters.

Council officers will now have to work out how many youth workers they need to keep.