Devon youth cuts ‘short-sighted’ says MP
North Devon MP Nick Harvey has warned that cuts to Devon’s Youth Service will have a damaging impact on the lives of young people.
Nick’s comments come in a response to Devon County Council (DCC)’s ‘Tough Choices’ consultation on plans to restructure the Youth Service. In a proposed £1.7m cut, the universal service would be ended, with support instead focused on the most vulnerable young people, and 60 youth service jobs lost.
After a recent meeting in Westminster with a delegation of young people from across the county, the MP has spoken out to express fears that the cuts will leave many young people without valuable support and a safety net.
Nick said: “The problem with DCC’s plans is that youth centres will only be obliged to provide targeted support to the most vulnerable young people. This completely underestimates just how vital the current open-to-all youth service is in preventing young people from becoming ‘targeted’ in the first place.
“Without a universal service, we are going to see far more young people in trouble and pressure piling up on other vital services like healthcare, police and education in its place. DCC don’t seem to have grasped that their plans – far than saving money – will actually end up costing a lot in terms of the fallout.
“I was recently visited by a very articulate group of young people from Devon to lobby for a rethink of these plans. I would urge North Devon residents to make their voices heard by responding to the consultation by April 27 and let DCC know these cuts will do serious damage to our communities.”
To respond to the consultation on Devon’s Youth Service, go to http://new.devon.gov.uk/
(from a press release)