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EAST DEVON: Petition to fight youth service cuts
Friday, 07 February 2014
A petition to stop fundamental change in Devon County Council’s (DCC) youth service has been started by a team including teenage youth service volunteer Alfie Weaver from Sidmouth.
DCC last week presented plans for what it called “a targeted” youth service approach, which would mean the council would no longer run traditional centre-based activities for all youths.
A DCC spokesperson said: “The council is considering moving from a universal service to a more targeted approach aimed at early help and prevention.
“Skilled youth workers would work with social workers and other partners to identify and provide early help and support to vulnerable young people and those most at risk.
“This targeted approach means the county council would no longer manage or run more traditional centre-based activities aimed at universal support for all youngsters.
“Community and voluntary groups and others with an interest will be invited to suggest alternative models or express an interest in taking over any of the council’s 34 youth centres as part of the 12 week consultation.”
The spokesperson said: “The proposal is a response to a recent critical Ofsted report and budget.
“The youth service currently costs £3.7 million a year and employs 114 full-time-equivalent (FTE) staff.
“The county council has to save £110 million from its spending by 2017 and has consistently warned that all services would come under the spotlight.”
In the intro to the petition, Mr Weaver promised a fight against the proposals, saying: “Why has the government and local authorities chosen to tackle youth services?
“This is simply because the voting age is 18+ meaning that we cannot have a say through vote on what goes on in our country.
“What they don’t realize is we will fight until our youth services are safe. We will not put up with them being closed down.”
DCC’s consultation is available online at new.devon.gov.uk/youthreview and the petition at www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/john-hart -protect-our-youth-services-from-budget-cuts
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