Rally to protest at 'targeted vandalism of youth services'

Neil Puffett
Friday, July 22, 2011

Hundreds of young people are expected to turn out for a demonstration against cuts to youth services at an event being held in London tomorrow (23 July).

Young people will protest at Conway Hall, Holborn. Image: Unite
Young people will protest at Conway Hall, Holborn. Image: Unite

The rally, which will be staged at Conway Hall, Holborn, is part of a series of events being staged by Choose Youth, an alliance of more than 30 national youth sector organisations and trade unions campaigning against cuts to youth services.

Users of youth services in the capital – and those who work with them – will protest at cuts, which they say are forcing the closure of youth centres, art and music programmes, and volunteering projects. During the event, Stella Creasey, Labour MP for Walthamstow, will take part in a panel debate and young people from across the capital will share stories.

Union Unite has claimed youth service cuts are the "tip of the iceberg" as most councils are yet to announce the full scale of the cuts to their youth budgets, while consultations on the restructuring of services are ongoing.

Doug Nicholls, Unite national officer for community and youth workers, said: "The London youth service was once the jewel in the national crown of services to young people.

"Over the past 20 years it has been reduced to just a quarter of its previous strength and resourcing. This latest attack will spell the end of a meaningful service in London.

"Young Londoners face a bleak summer with council-funded holiday play schemes already at the sharp end of the cuts.

"Young people in London already feel abandoned and deserted – there should be real alarm at what is in store.

"In 30 years of involvement with the London youth service I have never been so worried. This weekend the Choose Youth rally will see young people join forces to call on the government to stop its targeted vandalism of youth services."

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