Council cuts youth service budget by £750,000

Adam Offord
Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A council has rubberstamped plans to cut £750,000 from its youth service budget and to open up provision of universal youth services to the voluntary sector. ?

Reading Council said it needs to save around £51m over the next three years due to major cuts in government funding. the £750,000 cut will see spending on youth services fall from £2.1m to £1.35m.

The council said it will continue to offer youth services to all young people up until April next year but it will then stop funding open-access youth clubs and will seek replacement services from alternative providers.

The council's youth service provision will instead focus on those identified as needing extra support such as young people not in education, employment or training, and those with behavioural and mental health issues.

It will also continue to offer services designed to work with young offenders, teenage parents and tackle drug and alcohol misuse, as well as respite care and weekly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender sessions.

The decision was made following a 10-week consultation.

Jan Gavin, lead member for children's services at Reading Council, said: "Reading has a proud history of providing a wide range of services for young people across the town.

"Unfortunately, huge cuts in government funding, along with increased demands on council services, means we have had to review what services we can afford to offer.

"There are many excellent clubs across the borough, run by various organisations, which offer a wide range of activities for young people, so it makes sense for the council to focus its limited resources on targeted groups who need an extra degree of support."

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