The Tories have slashed spending on youth services putting the futures of many of our children at risk. Central government funding for local authorities has been slashed year on year since 2010. In 2010 we spent £1.2 billion on youth work, youth services and related youth activity; last year we spent just £358 million, which amounts to a 68% cash-terms cut.
Youth service spending by local authorities in England is down by a third compared with three years ago, according to figures for the Department for Education (DfE).
Over 600 youth centres have closed around the country, more than 3,500 youth workers have lost their jobs, and 140,000 places for young people have been lost
Youth services help young people to lead positive lives as members of society. Labour believes we must invest in the our children to give them the best start in life.
Letting our young people down.
A survey conducted by the Local Government Association in 2015 found that 90% of English councils had cut services for teenagers.
And here in Bucks, our young people are bearing the brunt of Tory austerity.
I worked in the Youth Service at BCC for 13 years. My whole team was made redundant. We were responsible for recruiting and supporting volunteers to work alongside qualified Youth Workers. A big part of my job was vetting potential volunteers. Given that the council expected volunteers to replace nearly all of the qualified Youth Workers, I wonder who they expected to vet them?
Almost a third of people (32.6%) in the UK aged under 18 UK are considered at risk of poverty or social exclusion.
The provision of adequate youth services should be a statutory duty on local authorities. Labour will make it a legal requirement.