Savage cuts loom to Essex Youth Services from the Conservatives

December 10, 2013 5:43 PM
Originally published by Chelmsford Liberal Democrats
LD councillors and young people protesting outside County Hall, Chelmsford

Lib Dem Councillors and young people from Harlow protest about youth service cuts

At County Hall today, Essex Conservatives rejected a challenge to their plans to slash youth service budgets. Liberal Democrat councillors are opposed to any further cuts in youth services. They asked the Conservatives to defer their cuts until the service had had time to adjust, but even this compromise was rejected.

Moving the Lib Dem motion, Cllr David Kendall (Brentwood South) said, "In 2010 the Conservatives cut the youth service budget from £12 million to £5 million. Now they are proposing to cut it to just £2 million - at the same time as they are spending over £10 million a year on temporary staff and over £5 million on consultants."

"What other council service has been cut by 83%? Why push this through in such a short space of time?

"This will wipe out the professional youth workers who do such a good job on the ground with young people around Essex. You cannot do everything just with volunteers."

Cllr Kendall referred to the 5,117 responses to the Youth Service consultation, a record number of responses. "This shows just how important this issue is to our residents, so it is vital we do our best to get it right."

Added Lib Dem Group Leader Cllr. Mike Mackrory, "The Youth Service helps stop young people getting into trouble.

"They work with young people having problems with schooling; they help with further education courses and job interviews; they give guidance where there is family breakdown.

"They give health advice but above all they provide help and guidance to young people to enable them to achieve more with their lives."

The Liberal Democrat motion was supported by all 32 Opposition Councillors but rejected by 40 Conservatives.

ENDS

Note to Editors

  1. A question from Cllr Kendall led to the disclosure of spending by Essex County Council on temporary staff as follows:
    • 2010-11 £11.3 million
    • 2011-12 £9.8 million
    • 2012-13 £10.6 million
    • 6 months to Oct 2013 £7.9 million
  1. Spending by Essex County Council on consultants was shown as follows:
    • 2010-11 £24.4 million
    • 2011-12 £16.4 million
    • 2012-13 £7.4 million
    • 6 months to Oct 2013 £2.4 million