Misspent Youth : Community Analysis exposes Haringey Youth Service to scrutiny
Report Reveals Haringey’s Youth Service Budget Did Not Get Cut, But Services Dramatically Reduced
Campaigners who have fought for over 2 years to save Haringey Councils Youth Services have published a report of their findings following a Community Investigation
The report, titled ‘Misspent Youth’ reveals the well believed 75% Cut to the Councils Youth Service in Feb 2011 did not actually happen, despite job losses & closure of a majority of youth projects across the borough, including Youth Centres and a Counselling Service.
A Freedom of Information request received earlier this month stated the current Youth Service budget was £2.1m, compared to an earlier request in Nov 2010 (prior to the alleged cut) where the budget was stated to be £1.8m. It appears the council have invested an extra £300,000 more.
The report also identified that the council only worked with 2,000 young people this year, of which 1,400 were just worked with during the Summer, compared to over double that in 2010 where the service worked with over 4,400 teenagers throughout the year. The dramatic reduction of services, in 2010 young people could access over 130 hrs of provision a week, currently despite a rise in budget access has been reduced to under 20 hrs a week
“Something has seriously gone wrong, the public and elected Councillors were led to believe a cut needed to take place and had, and now it transpires it was not needed and had not is shocking. The money is there to provide young people the services they want and need, but the Council is just not delivering. For the sake of accountability this matter needs to be investigated”Jason Akinfenwa, Youth Service Campaigner.
The community campaign are recommending the Council undertake a financial audit to find out how this occurred, especially as it seems even Councillors believed a cut took place & to urgently open the 3 council Youth Centres.
“Our young people are facing worrying levels of need given the economic, social and political climate. We have had the worst riots of a generation which has devastated our community and will have a life destroying long term impact on the futures of our young people. At a time when the council should be offering as much support as possible, it seems they have gone out of their way to deny them a service they have continually asked for. The revelations in this report are both disturbing and dangerous. For the sake of our children, the council needs to act fast to rectify what seems to have occurred” Seema Chandwani, Youth Service Campaigner
The report is released ahead of tonight’s Overview & Scrutiny Meeting where the Youth Service will be under the spotlight.