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 www.sidmouthherald.co.uk 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 www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Archant

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’.

0 comments

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 14:11
St John's Court team manger Trevor Moir, Senior Mental Health Practicioner Steve Hammond and Dr Teg Freer are pictured seated on the new bench that was presented by the Mens' Shed this week. Ref exe 0590-12-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

A men’s social group has once again come to the rescue by hand-crafting much-needed seating for a vital local service.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:11
Hugo Swire stock picture

Hugo Swire’s election rivals have called on him to apologise after he was secretly filmed joking about welfare claimants at a Tory fundraiser.

Read more
Fri, 14:08
Rolle College, Exmouth.  Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 9254-18-12SH To order your copy of this photograph visit www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Community volunteers have sealed a deal to reopen part of the mothballed Rolle campus for the Exmouth Festival.

Read more
Fri, 09:00
A la Ronde Assistant House Steward James Weckmueller winds a Grandfather clock dating back to around 1820 which was made by David Whitelaw of Edinburgh. Every Sunday at noon during March visitors to the National Trust property can watch all the clocks in the house being wound and set. Ref exe 0537-12-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Visitors to A la Ronde this month have been watching the clocks at the National Trust house being wound and set.

Read more
Thu, 15:40
A rugby themed easter egg trail is taking place along the Exe Estuary

A special Easter egg hunt inspired by the Rugby World Cup 2015 kicks off along the Exe Estuary Trail on Saturday, March 28.

Read more
Thu, 11:45
Ocean Blue. Ref exe 1212-33-14SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Leisure East Devon (LED) has announced it has agreed a 25-year lease to manage the Ocean Blue complex on Exmouth seafront.

Read more
Thu, 09:13
Topsham Devon Air Ambulance Trust is open for business again after a recent shop refurbishment. Cutting the ribbon is Tom Robertson, Chrissie Peel, Nigel Hare, Martin Bell and Sarah Woolfenden. Ref ext 1296-13-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

One of Topsham’s two Devon Air Ambulance shops held its grand re-opening on Saturday, March 21.

Read more
Wed, 15:11
Bus service cuts have been opposed by Budleigh Salterton Town Council.

Cuts to bus services in Budleigh Salterton could leave the town ‘cut off’ and affect its young people, representatives have warned.

Read more
Tue, 11:20
Exeter Crown Court.

An ambulance driver based in Exmouth has admitted driving on a forged licence. Eion Crowley, who was sacked from his job by managers, was given a two-year conditional discharge at Exeter Crown Court.

Read more
Tue, 09:32
Ref exe rolle college

Rolle College will almost certainly re-open in May, seven years after it was mothballed, and host the Exmouth Festival .

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 8°C

Most Read News

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition today E-edition



Exmouth's trusted business finder