Government 'failing' youth sector, shadow minister warns

Adam Offord
Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The government is letting down the youth sector due to major cuts to funding, Labour's shadow youth minister has said.

??Steve Reed, Labour MP for Croydon North, said that if the government continues to fail to invest in young people then in time the country will face the consequences. ??

Reed's bleak warning came as he addressed delegates at Ambition UK's 2016 conference in Milton Keynes on Tuesday - his first public address since being appointed shadow youth minister last month. ?

?"The sector is already doing great work but the government is letting all of us and all of you down," he said. 

??"If they keep cutting funding to the bone and targeting the deepest cuts, as they have done on the poorest communities, then the divisions that we see in our country and our communities can only get worse.??

"If we fail to invest in our young people then in time we will reap the whirlwind."

Reed warned that the pressures on young people have never been greater and it is "blindingly clear" that the cuts have "gone far enough".

??He called for investment in prevention and early intervention, and for better and stronger partnership working.

He also said young people need to have more of a say over services.

?"Councils have suffered 40 per cent cuts and in some cases up to 60 per cent," he told delegates. ??

"That in turn has slashed funding to the voluntary and community sector at the very moment the government is telling that sector to step up and pick up the slack of the statutory sector."

"It is time for the government to think again about the consequences of not investing fairly in children and young people.??

"If we are serious about the future of this country then it is time to get serious about children and young people."

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