Yet again we see the government’s cuts to services hitting those least able to defend or speak for themselves. This time the axe falls on young people and their Youth Services.
This hapless County Council are having to push through ridiculous “savings” at a time when we need more investment in our youth, not less. Youth unemployment is still rising, jobs are scarce, and the very service that seeks to support our future is cut away.
The community and voluntary sector have always provided services for young people and where they are successful they should be rightly applauded and supported. However, community and voluntary organisations are themselves facing enormous financial pressures and can never ensure a comprehensive service that meets the needs of all our young people in all of our communities. Where youth services have been handed entirely to the community and voluntary sector, such as in Northamptonshire, we have seen disastrous results.
Quite simply, removal of local authority youth service provision is not the answer. We need quality local authority services to work hand in hand with the community and voluntary sector if we are to support our young people.
Unfortunately at a time of record youth unemployment, sky high tuition fees and the abolition of EMA it appears as though too many policy makers are not thinking about what needs to be done to ensure that our young people are properly supported.
Councils need to listen to their young people and think again.
This letter has been sent to Derbyshire newspapers and radio outlets