Council proposes to axe all its youth clubs

By Adam Offord

| 23 October 2015

A council has announced plans to axe all its youth centres as part of efforts to cut its youth services budget by more than £660,000.

Sutton Youth Centre will be one of the buildings to close under proposals put forward by Sutton Council. Picture: Sutton Council

Sutton Council said it has to reduce its annual £1.1m spend on youth and adolescent services budget as part of £74m of cuts that have to be made across the authority by 2019.

It is proposing to only maintain services that have to be provided by law. This would result in savings of £667,000, a cut of 60.4 per cent to the overall budget.

The council said that as a result there will be "no physical youth service", meaning two youth centres will be closed and a third will instead be used for office accommodation. Meanwhile the borough’s youth parliament will also be axed.

The council said that statutory provision will mean the council continuing to support and track young people not in education, employment or training (Neet). Meanwhile a youth officer will become responsible for the oversight of youth provision in the borough and engaging with local providers of youth activities.  

Wendy Mathys, chair of the children, families and education committee at Sutton Council, said: “Unprecedented government cuts to our budget mean we have no choice but to reduce the size of the council and the services we offer.

“Our youth and adolescent services are a valuable resource and it is with great regret that we are having to make these changes.

“It is really important that people have their say so we can understand what services matter to people. We can then work with our partner organisations to find other ways that our young people can receive the support they need.”

Sutton Council has launched a consultation on the proposals that closes on 13 December.

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