Youth centres at risk

THE future of 24 Wiltshire Council-run youth centres and more than 140 jobs could be under threat as the council looks to slash £500,000 from its budget.

A review of youth services is underway, with options including closing youth centres altogether, retaining them with significantly reduced funding or outsourcing youth work to other organisations.

Public sector union Unite fears that up to 144 youth workers could be made redundant and thousands of young people left with nowhere to meet their friends and get vital support.

Wiltshire Council has announced it needs to save £120m over the next four years and says it wants to reduce staff numbers and give more responsibility to town and parish councils.

A confidential report outlining possible cuts and restructuring of youth services was presented to senior Wiltshire councillors last week and a meeting is being held with unions and staff tomorrow.

A consultation will then be held, and young people in particular will be asked for their views on the proposals. Unite has launched an angry attack on the plan, which they say will result in young people losing “a lifeline”.

“We face the real possibility that by the end of August we will have no youth workers, empty youth centres boarded up and young people hanging around outside them with nothing to do,” said Unite regional officer Alan Tomala.

“As well as providing young people with a safe place to go to meet their friends and learn new skills, youth workers are providing lots of support to individual young people who have a range of challenges in their lives.

“The council has no idea about the worry and sheer anger they are causing. Youth workers are professional people offering a crucial frontline service that benefits thousands of young people – they do not deserve to be treated like this.”

The union says that between April and September 2013 the youth service worked with 3,500 teenagers and there were more than 31,000 visits to youth clubs.

Wiltshire Council operates youth clubs in Amesbury, Salisbury, Old Sarum, Wilton, Tidworth and Ludgershall, although it has not been confirmed which, if any, are under threat.

One option being considered is giving grants to area boards that can be spent on youth services but unions fear this will lead to a “patchy service”. A Wiltshire Council spokesman said: “Currently, a small percentage of Wiltshire’s young people access council youth services, while many are actively engaged in community, voluntary and commercially-provided activities.

“We must focus on what young people in local communities need and want |in the future, while retaining the |support and provision for those who need it most.

“The options for future delivery will be discussed with council youth service staff ahead of the consultation process.”

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:23am Thu 30 Jan 14

DomImms says...

What a fabulous idea! That will fit in nicely with Conservatives pledge to axe housing benefits for under 25s if they win the next election.

It so refreshing to hear that the ever the Wiltshire council overlords share a vision of a disenfranchised youth with little or no idea of community and little job prospects in a stagnant job market. It's also great that these kids will have the opportunity to gave longingly at the shiny rich people who with their homes and wealthy relatives dominate the political agenda.

But it's ok as kids can't vote, are unlikely to vote when they can and aren't aged 50 or over.

Of course it's more than acceptable to slashing funding for the youth because ethics have no place in politics. Appease the grey vote and stay in power.

The kids are Alright Jack
What a fabulous idea! That will fit in nicely with Conservatives pledge to axe housing benefits for under 25s if they win the next election. It so refreshing to hear that the ever the Wiltshire council overlords share a vision of a disenfranchised youth with little or no idea of community and little job prospects in a stagnant job market. It's also great that these kids will have the opportunity to gave longingly at the shiny rich people who with their homes and wealthy relatives dominate the political agenda. But it's ok as kids can't vote, are unlikely to vote when they can and aren't aged 50 or over. Of course it's more than acceptable to slashing funding for the youth because ethics have no place in politics. Appease the grey vote and stay in power. The kids are Alright Jack DomImms
  • Score: 8

5:08am Fri 31 Jan 14

karlmarx says...

"restructuring of youth services"???

"The future of 24 Wiltshire Council-run youth centres and more than 140 jobs could be under threat as the council looks to slash £500,000 from its budget."

That's one sixth of £3 million, the youngsters can always loiter about in the market square instead of engaging with society.
"restructuring of youth services"??? "The future of 24 Wiltshire Council-run youth centres and more than 140 jobs could be under threat as the council looks to slash £500,000 from its budget." That's one sixth of £3 million, the youngsters can always loiter about in the market square instead of engaging with society. karlmarx
  • Score: 6

8:47am Fri 31 Jan 14

karlmarx says...

Yet again there is a petition that you can all sign and share against Wiltshire councils proposals at...

http://www.change.or
g/petitions/wiltshir
e-council-stop-the-p
roposed-cuts-to-yout
h-services

Over 1100 signatures in less than 24 Hrs, well done!
Yet again there is a petition that you can all sign and share against Wiltshire councils proposals at... http://www.change.or g/petitions/wiltshir e-council-stop-the-p roposed-cuts-to-yout h-services Over 1100 signatures in less than 24 Hrs, well done! karlmarx
  • Score: 5

4:44pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Beardy359 says...

I see it's the magic £500,000 saving again. C'mon Wiltshire Council at least be creative as you lie about how much will be saved. As the figures will never materialise let's say you saved £ millions. It's not about saving money it's about removing support from anyone who needs it, who's next?
I see it's the magic £500,000 saving again. C'mon Wiltshire Council at least be creative as you lie about how much will be saved. As the figures will never materialise let's say you saved £ millions. It's not about saving money it's about removing support from anyone who needs it, who's next? Beardy359
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree