An interesting intervention from Sian Berry, the Green 2016 candidate for London Mayor on her blog – Lost Youth Services
She has produced a report , ‘London’s lost youth services’, based on a freedom of information request to borough councils. It reveals that youth services, which are non-statutory and not protected from austerity cuts, have been cut back dramatically in the past five years.
Between 2011/12 and 2016/17:
- Across London more than £22 million was cut from youth services budgets.
- The average council in London has cut its youth service budget by nearly £1 million – an average of 36 per cent.
- More than 30 youth centres have been closed.
- At least 12,700 places for young people have been lost.
- Council youth service employment has been reduced on average by 39 per cent – from 738 full-time equivalent staff across 20 councils to 452 in 2016/17.
- Funding to voluntary sector youth work has also gone down – by an average of 35 per cent in councils that were able to provide data
Half of the ten councils that provided information about future budgets were planning to make further cuts in 2017/18. On average 25 per cent of budgets would be cut from April, with the loss of at least three more youth centres and 24 more staff.