Categorized | Campaign, Featured, News, Press Release

County Council Makes U-Turn on Youth Services

Young people march against cuts to the Youth Service in Chesterfield

Young people march against cuts to the Youth Service in Chesterfield

Contentious plans that would have seen Tory-led Derbyshire County Council relinquish control of all its youth clubs have been dropped.

The move, instigated by the County Council’s Cabinet Member for Young People, Barry Lewis, would have seen youth services run by charities and not-for-profit organisations.

Following fierce criticism, the U-turn was prompted by mass turn-outs of young people at stakeholder public meetings across the county, and a subsequent petition which attracted 16,251 signatures.

Barry Lewis has now been forced to admit that the changes could not go ahead as was originally proposed, and that there are circumstances where it is better for the County Council to retain services in-house.

However the running of some clubs may still be handed over under new proposals to review them on a “case by case” basis.

Gordon Savage, former Head of the Council’s Youth Services, warned that the changes would mean a lack of properly trained youth workers – resulting in more anti-social behaviour and teenage pregnancies. Chesterfield MP, Toby Perkins, shares Mr Savage’s view.

Commenting on the news Toby Perkins said: “I am delighted that the Tory leadership at Derbyshire County Council has been forced to rethink on this issue.

“This embarrassing climb down has demonstrated that these were completely ill thought through proposals in the first place.

“Now we need to make sure that the ‘case by case’ review truly reflects the needs of our young people and maximises the value of these crucial services for the public purse. We will be scrutinising the County Councils amended proposals very closely.

“Positively engaging our young people through youth clubs run by properly trained youth workers prevents anti social behaviour, drug use and a range of other social problems so it is important that plans are properly thought through. In that respect,  today’s announcement is a step in the right direction.”

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I am Toby Perkins, Labour's Member of Parliament for Chesterfield. If you would like to get in touch with me, my office is open and can be reached by phone on 01246 386 286. I also hold regular surgeries so that constituents can meet me and I can take up their concerns. If you would like to make an appointment then please do contact my office. Thank you for visiting.

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