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Youth service faces further funding cuts
6:00am Tuesday 8th October 2013 in News
MORE than 100 jobs are under threat and youngsters could lose vital services as Essex County Council prepares to make swingeing cuts to the youth service.
County Hall is looking to reduce the department’s budget from £5million to £2million a year, just 18 months after it slashed the youth service from £12million.
Ray Gooding, councillor responsible for education, said some of the 170 people employed by the Youth Service will be made redundant.
He said the council planned to ask voluntary sector organisations to run some of its services but, if agreements cannot be reached, some may be lost.
It also pays for youth outreach work for youngsters aged between 13 and 19, the youth bus and a drop-in centre in Southernhay, Basildon.
Councillor Phil Rackley said he fears the cuts could lead to a rise in antisocial behaviour.
He added: “This is another example of false economy at a time when there are so many unemployed people and young people have less and less to do.”
The consultation will open on October8and any cuts will be made in the financial year 2014/15.
Councillor Beverley Egan, youth champion for Castle Point, said: “It’s very worrying this has come so soon after the previous cuts in funding.
“The youth work in Castle Point has been very productive and we’ve seen a fall in antisocial behaviour.
“It is encouraging we are being consulted – something that didn’t happen last time.”
Mr Gooding said: “We need to save a significant amount of money because of the cuts from central Government.
“We haveastatutory obligation in terms of what we need to provide in terms of education.
“Those things will not be affected.”
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