SOUTHEND Youth Council has launched a campaign to save a service for teenagers from a Government axe.

It is unclear which services will be affected, but the youth council is already making a pre-emptive stand to save Connexions, which looks after the interests of young people aged from 13 to 25.

Connexions helps young people with education, employment and training issues. It also provides youth clubs free of charge.

It has provided support for the youth council, which in turn has been successful with its campaigns, including the lowering of bus fares for young people.

Rosie Woolgar, 17, Southend’s member of youth parliament, is leading the campaign and said there were fears the Connexions service could be scrapped unless it receives support from residents.

She said: “We must do all we can to stop this happening. I am making a plea to everyone in Southend to fill in a survey on the Southend Council website about cuts to try to save Connexions.

“We cannot imagine how Southend will be without Connexions and we cannot keep faith in the council if it chooses to cut the support of our future.”

Connexions caters for vulnerable groups like young carers, young disabled people, cared-for children and young women’s groups, providing support not available elsewhere.

All Southend residents are being given the opportunity to have their say on the council's future spending plans. The council wants residents to say what services they value most.

Miss Woolgar added: “Imagine what the council would have to deal with if Connexions were not around: Kids on street corners, more youth offending and more young people needing housing. Connexions is an investment, not a cost.”

Paul Greenhalgh, Southend Council’s corporate director for children and learning, said: “The Government has not yet announced the outcome of its comprehensive spending review, which will provide information about the scope of public spending in the future.

“The council has made no decisions about its budget.”