A few weeks ago I started to write something about my sense of a youth sector, which seems to inhabit parallel universes, one in which smug ‘selfies’ with Tory Ministers circulate, whilst in the other the Tories’ assault on youth work not of its liking continues unabated. As I collect material on this phenomenon the task is getting out of hand. Perhaps, for what it’s worth, it will see the light of day in the New Year. In the meantime I’ll post some of the ‘cuttings’ informing my ruminations.
Mark Rogers, who runs the biggest council in England, said the effects of six years of austerity meant Birmingham’s youth service had “all but gone”, homelessness prevention services had been cut by so much that rough sleeping had quadrupled, and far fewer elderly people were eligible for care at home.
The council has almost halved its headcount since 2008, from around 24,000 to 12,500, and says staff numbers could be as low as 8,000 by 2020. By that point the council will have made £800m worth of cuts since the era of austerity began in 2010, and expects to have lost 50% of its grant from central government.
Rogers also highlighted cuts to council youth services. “The youth service has all but gone. In 2010 it would have been seen as one of the exemplar programmes in the country, we would have had dozens of youth services. Now we have just two youth centres, with the possibility of further reduction.”
Read in full on the Guardian link highlighted above.