Cuts watch: policy update on local authority cuts to youth services


Some would say somewhat belatedly the National Youth Agency has set up a Cuts Watch, the first information mailing appearing on December 15

Cuts to Youth Services

Youth services in the UK have been subject to a large range of financial cuts and restrictions. This impact has meant that many youth services across the country have been closed, reduced, or are facing closure. Many local authorities are relying on the voluntary and community sector to fill the gaps in provision, however, many of these organisations are also facing financial issues and the remaining provision is not sufficient.

There are a number of campaigns to protect youth services, with an online petition having a high level of support, and an early day motion being circulated for signatures in parliament.

There are more areas facing cuts than are listed here. Many instances do not receive publicity. This list will be updated regularly with information about cuts to youth services and provision. Please contact us if you have information about cuts in your area.

Areas facing cuts

Dudley Council is considering potential cuts of up to 50% to youth services in the next financial year. The council hopes that voluntary and community sector organisations will fill gaps in provision. Protests have occurred within the local community, but had little impact on plans.

Cardiff Council intends to make £37 million of cuts in the 2015/16 budget. Youth provision is likely to be heavily impacted but the full extent is currently unclear. Community groups are expected to fill the gap.

Basingstoke is facing 80% cuts to its youth service from Hampshire County Council, dropping to £973,000. This would see one youth pod being opened in Basingstoke, providing services for 12 hours per week. The public is currently being consulted about the plans.

Bradford was facing cuts of 79% to its youth service, however, following action from the community, this has been changed to 36%.

Warwickshire County Council has agreed £518,000 of cuts over four years starting in 2015. This will not only affect youth services, but funding agreements with the voluntary sector. Statutory budgets for youth work have previously been reduced by 59%, meaning this cut will further reduce services, and youth clubs will be closed.

London is likely to see 90% cuts to youth services, following revelations in Mayor’s Question Time in November. This would see funding drop from £22.6m to £2.3m by 2016/17.

Within London, Haringey council is required to make £70 million of cuts, with £17.3 millionaffecting children and youth services. Remaining youth services are to focus on preventative work for young people.

Staffordshire County Council is ending its open provision in December 2014,closing all youth centres in the area, and supporting community provision instead.

Trafford is facing a high level of cuts across all services, with plans to close all youth centres in the area. It has been suggested that these centres become social enterprises that secure their own funding.

West Sussex closed a number of youth centres in 2012, due to financial cuts and declining need. Members of the local community, in partnership with 4Youth havecontinued to run one centreoffering clubs and groups for young people, parents, and pre-school activities. The centre is running successfully, and is a benefit to the community.

Wolverhampton reduced its budget by £1.75 million in 2014/15, which severely reduced youth services. Only 8 youth work positions remained in the area, with 140 redundancies taking place.

Cornwall Council will not provide an open access youth service in the next financial year due to financial cuts. This places youth centres in doubt, with some needing to be sold as the council cannot afford the upkeep of the buildings.

North Yorkshire needs to make reductions of £74 million in the next financial year and youth services will be reduced in that. The council has emphasized that statutory requirements will still be met following cuts.

We should certainly take the NYA at its word and furnish the Cuts Watch with information.

For starters:

In Oldham the council claims it needs to save £600,000 in the sphere of youth services by 2015/16 which will result in the loss of 32 full-time jobs.

Two youth centres close as cuts bite



    • Justin – Many thanks for this alternative perspective. I’ll do a separate post to draw attention to it. Personally I do accept that the picture behind the cuts is often more complex than at first appears. Indeed we may have a post soon from a local politician caught between the pressures from national and the advice of managers.

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