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ePetition details

Cease cuts to youth services

We the undersigned petition the council to ensure that there is a properly funded youth service in Leeds; to be prepared to stand up against the cuts and will work to securing investment in young people's services.

The huge cuts in services to young people are now so severe that urgent action is needed to ensure proper investment and an infrastructure of support. Central and local government must work together to secure sufficient support for young people. Youth work Works, cutting it is a false economy.
It seems ironic that this council is planning to make drastic cuts as a result of our current coalition government which drives towards a ‘Big Society’ and yet at the same time destroys the very services that have been created over the past few years to work with vulnerable children, young people and families.
Their predecessors considered youth workers as a distinct educational profession, built youth centres throughout the country to provide places of warmth, free association, safety and fun, and introduced national terms and conditions for youth workers with linked qualifications
But as local authorities plan their budgets for the next three years, we need to ensure that the case for youth work is heard amongst all the competing demands for resources."
Liam Preston, chair of the British Youth Council (BYC), described the extent of the cuts revealed in the surveys as "a massive blow to young people". "They must equate to the loss of tens of thousands of opportunities and services for young people," he said.
"From our perspective as the users and losers of these services, we cannot afford as a society to make short-term savings that might result in long-term damage. These are not just services to meet immediate needs today, but represent investment in prevention of more costly interventions tomorrow."
CYP Now's For Youth's Sake campaign is calling on the government to outline its vision for young people, let them have a genuine say in shaping their services and calls for employers to invest in the youth workforce and value the contribution they make to society. To find out more, visit http://www.foryouthssake.co.uk. To sign the online campaign pledge, visit: http://www.cypnow.co.uk/fys.

COMMENT: Doug Nicholls, national officer for community, youth workers and not-for-profit sector, Unite.
The British youth service was the first in the world. It established a universal right for young people to enjoy learning beyond the classroom. It gave a voice and place for those who do not have a vote, but who have a lot to offer and say. This service is now being demolished.
A cut of 20 per cent may not sound large but in reality it means further cuts to already insufficiently staffed services.
This week's Unite survey reveals that the highest number of local authority youth services face cuts of between 20 and 30 per cent. At the top end, this is more than three times the level of average local authority cuts.
In some rural areas like Northamptonshire there is nothing left. In Suffolk, Warwickshire and many others that intend to abandon the service, the cuts will mean a youth service will no longer exist.
The government says it wants youth services to target the most vulnerable, but offering targeted services without universal provision is insane. Young people only want to be targeted with respect and resources; they don't want to be made to feel stigmatised.
Potentially, more than £600m will be spent on the National Citizen Service (NCS) to work with only 16-year-olds over the summer holidays. Yet the meagre £300m spent by government for a 365-day-a-year youth service will be largely gone in a year.
The youth service needs the NCS money now and a new national youth service must be created. The consequence of not investing will be a younger generation that feels even more marginalised and let down by society.

This ePetition ran from 14/02/2011 to 28/03/2011 and has now finished.

119 people signed this ePetition.