“Youth service cuts 'deeper than predicted'”

By Neil Puffett

| 18 December 2017

Spending on youth services by local authorities last year fell by £42m more than initially predicted, government figures have revealed.

Statistics published by the Department for Education show that total expenditure by local authorities on youth services in 2016/17 came to £447.5m.

This is £41.99m less than the £489.5m councils had told the DfE they were intending to spend and a 15.2 per cent cut on actual spending in 2015/16 of £527.9m.

Separate figures published in September for predicted, as opposed to actual, spending show that funding is set to fall further, with councils saying they intend to spend £415.8m on youth services in 2017/18.

Last month, the National Youth Agency said it was disappointed that the government has not allocated any additional resources to youth work.

The Local Government Association has called for part of the money set aside for the National Citizen Service initiative, which has been allocated £1.2bn for the period up to 2020, to be diverted to councils to pay for local youth services.

The statistics for actual spending in 2016/17 show that total spending on children and young people's services increased by £41.3m, from £9.14bn to £9.18bn.

Total expenditure on looked-after children went up by £215.1m from £3.94bn to £4.16bn, and spending on child protection rose by £107.4m from £2.23bn to £2.33bn.

Spending on children's centres and early years services dropped by £69.6m, from £843.9m to £774.3m.