Young fight service cuts

14:12 03 March 2014

Youth cuts protest at Devon County Hall. Photo by Terry Ife. Ref shs 1854-08-14TI To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on myphotos24

Youth cuts protest at Devon County Hall. Photo by Terry Ife. Ref shs 1854-08-14TI To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on myphotos24


Exmouth’s young people are urged to speak out against proposed cuts to vital county youth services - including mental and sexual health.

The call comes from East and Mid-Devon Youth MP George Downs, of Exmouth, who has hit out at a Devon County Council (DCC) consultation to save cash.

It is feared that axing £1million from young people’s services will threaten the county’s 34 youth centres, including The Hive in Exmouth .

DCC would cease running such centres in the hope they will be taken over by other organisations. Around 60 staff could lose their jobs.

George fears that county bosses could also scrap a vital £30,000 cash-lifeline to local voluntary youth groups, like the scouts, distributed through the East Devon Youth Forum, on which he sits.

Youth support over drug, alcohol and smoking issues could also be cut if the funding is lost.

Exmouth Community College student George is campaigning to retain funding by appealing to East Devon’s young people to join forces, find their voice - and speak out against the cuts.

Sixteen-year-old George is concerned youths are not being heard – claiming youth service campaigners were not allowed to speak at a recent County Hall meeting to discuss the cuts.

George fears the council’s consultation period over the future of the youth service cash is no more than lip service.

He said: “We say there’s no point having a consultation period. It’s a box-ticking exercise, in our opinion.

“Last Thursday, the budget was passed. It seems as if the cuts are going to go through.

“There’s a consensus it’s not fair. If it’s taken away without them being actively involved, not through a consultation process, the feeling is disappointment, and in some cases, disgust.”

He added: “I don’t want to lose the experience and expertise of [paid] youth workers.

“They are trained to spot behavioural changes that could be the early signs of young people developing mental health issues later on.”

The youth panel, on which George sits, wants its case heard by full council.

“Those present at the meeting did not have faith that their views were taken into account – views from that meeting were not transferred to the rest of the council,” said George.

“Our campaign group regards this meeting as purely tokenistic and undemocratic as minimal effort was made to take our voice into account.

“We believe that the only way for the voice of young people to have been heard was for our group to address the full council to guarantee that every single councillor heard our argument.”

A DCC spokesman said: “The action of the council was entirely proper and lawful.”

He added that decisions about the future of youth services will only be made after a consultation period has concluded and young people still have ‘ample opportunity to make their views known and be heard’.


Other News Stories

A Budleigh Salterton woman has taken on a 150-ft abseil to raise funds for the charity which has helped her family.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:08

Half term forest school activities were taking place this week with lots of children

Read more
Yesterday, 14:01

Children enjoyed a pop-up puppet show at Exmouth library performed by The Wild Toy Theatre.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:00

The Rotary Club of Exeter Enterprise is holding a polio lunch in Topsham on Sunday, November 20, starting at 12.30pm for 1pm.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00

Police efforts to monitor ‘boy racers’ on Exmouth seafront have revealed that cases of drivers speeding in the area are rare.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30

A major cycle route through Exmouth is to be closed for more than four months due to work being carried out by South West Water.

Read more
Mon, 17:26

Armed forces charity SSAFA has launched a campaign ‘Got Your Back’ to help vulnerable veterans

Read more
Mon, 17:04

A survey of more than 8,000 over-50s has revealed most pack some home comforts when they go away

Read more
Mon, 16:40

Lock company Yale is highlighting some safety advice to help keep homes safe and secure this Halloween

Read more
Mon, 16:23

New laws giving cigarette and tobacco manufacturers a year to change all packaging are evident in the South West; the drab green packs, with bigger health warnings and graphic images, have been spotted in the county.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 8°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Photo Orders
Family notices
Google Plus
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

Show Job Lists

Find planning applications