The Brighton and Hove News reports:
Brighton and Hove City Council is to scrap a £1.3 million three-year contract to provide youth services to some of the most vulnerable young people in the area.
The funding – about £450,000 a year – is currently paid to eleven voluntary organisations, including eight that work together as the Brighton and Hove Youth Collective.
The core funding has been used to attract a similar sum of money from other sources, such as the National Lottery. This funding – and future cash – will be thrown into doubt and may leave some local charities at risk of closing.
The developing campaign is, in Adam Muirhead’s words, multi-faceted and you can follow, indeed contribute to the struggle by joining the Protect Youth Services Facebook page.
The local Argus has published a two page spread, which identifies youth work, problematically but understandably, as basically a preventative service, suggesting the cuts will lead to young people being at greater risk from ‘gangs, drugs and knives’, arguing that anti-social behaviour is at a crisis point. Given the paper is on side it might be useful to suggest further coverage stresses the educational heart of youth work with less emphasis on young people as a social problem.
Another unusual iron in the fire is a research report, Value of Youth Work, which was produced last year with the support of the New Economics Foundation. This concluded that every £1 invested in open access youth provision results in £5.56 of social value. Leave aside our wider criticism of the monetising of outcomes, witness our scepticism about National Citizen Service claims, it will be very interesting to see if these findings influence the Brighton Council. In theory we are told that politicians are keen on these numbers games. Let’s see, but certainly the report is well worth perusing to weigh up if such an approach has local merit in making the youth work case.
At this moment both young people and youth workers are discussing further activity – letters to councillors, the involvement of the MP, Caroline Lucas, demonstrations and much more. The Facebook page is a flurry of creativity.
Meanwhile please sign the petition as an act of solidarity –