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Youth Service Cuts Could Brew Trouble For The Future, Warns Councillor

Thursday October 3 2013


Cllr Tim Cheetham Cllr Tim Cheetham


CUTS to the council's youth service could be brewing trouble for the future after 32 staff members lost their jobs.

Cllr Tim Cheetham, cabinet spokesman for children, young people and families, said savage government cuts to the council's budget meant frontline and preventative departments were having to be pared back to protect services the council is bound by law to provide.

The youth service is divided into three tiers - one running the most visible being things like youth centres, another with more targeted service for areas of specific need and a 'backend' department for strategy and statutory services like the youth offending team.

But the first two have had to be curtailed following cuts to the service's budget by £4.2million to half what it was in 2010 - with the loss of 12 full-time and 20 part-time staff.

Cllr Cheetham said this could prove more expensive for the council in the long run if issues like anti-social behaviour, neglect and family breakdown increase.

He said: "We're struggling to justify that, obviously, as it could be working against us further down the line. It's important because, if you're getting that side of it right, you're doing less of the other stuff.

"We are finding more and more there are things going on that we didn't know about, which we are now referring people to. We are also trying to get area councils to commission a bit more where they see a need.

"If, for example, a community group which raises its own funds runs an event one night a week, the area council could provide funding for them to extend it to two nights a week."

He added the council's push to get all its advanced learning centres (ALCs) approved before the coalition government cancelled Labour's 'Building Schools for the Future' programme has also paid dividends - with the buildings stepping in where youth centres have been closed.

"After all, why would you want to play on a rotten old table tennis table when you've got these new ALCs?" he added.

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Reply Posted by Steve on Thursday October 3 2013 at 16:27
If Labour hadnt made such a mess of the economy then maybe these cuts wouldnt be needed. Maybe we could sell some gold to pay for it.. Oh no we cant as Gordon Brown sold it all off at a record low. Dont moan about it Cllr Tim as you only have labour to blame..

Reply Posted by STEVO on Sunday October 6 2013 at 22:22
wrong again steven, the economy was already fooked and if labour didn't have bailed out the banks and introduced quantitative easing then our country would be well and truly bankrupt.
Since Thatcher paved the way and moved us from manufacturing to the service industry our country has lost almost 47% GDP.

Labour had to sell off the gold cheaper as no one wanted to deal with us.

Reply Posted by Graham on Thursday October 3 2013 at 18:51
Barnsley Council decides where they spend their money. If the youth service means so much to the council, perhaps they should have made economies elsewhere in order to preserve the service

Reply Posted by Dave on Friday October 4 2013 at 13:15
You are right to a degree, but as the article says the council is bound by law to provide some services. Therefore those which aren't statutory responsibilities (like these) are always going to be vulnerable in this climate. Once all the funding cuts currently planned have been introduced after next year, the council's budget will be about 75 million per year less than before the recession. I know there's always some waste in the public sector but it doesn't take a genius to realise you can't cut spending by 75 million per year and not see large detrimental effects.

Reply Posted by jane on Friday October 4 2013 at 09:22
Everyone seem to forget that the events that happen when labour was down to Tony Blair has he decided money that mean for the country should be spend on a war that he had no right to stick his nose and follow his mate George bush and all the while planning a escape route that mean that Gordon Brown would take the fall and with what had happen at least, he had good grace to say sorry. And it not all Labour fault the Tory's are more at fault given they cut money left,right and centre and it always happens to the people who need it the most.

Reply Posted by dedatodd on Friday October 4 2013 at 10:22
Although a labour supporter, I am afraid to say the youth service has been in decline for years and not just during the 'blight' that is the Tories austerity cuts. When I grew up we had a youth club in just about every village, while this probably wasn't sustainable it does show how much we have let the youth of today down. As for 'cuts' and 'austerity' ( 'tightening the belt' in my days) they are needed, however we are not all in this together.

Reply Posted by Tammy on Saturday October 5 2013 at 18:13
My Youthi dunt hav rotten tables! me an mi m8s luv it! hope it wint close down :/

Reply Posted by Anon on Wednesday October 9 2013 at 22:00
The youth service has been in decline for a number of years now. If you ask me they are a shower of shite anyway. Youth service, local authority PA's, integrated services are all wank. They get paid lots of money for doing very little. Public money can be spent in better ways to help our young and vulnerable in our society. The integrated youth service and youth workers have had an easy ride over the last few years. They got rid of Connexions staff which did a great job to reduce NEET's in our region and now we are left with this shower of shite. The young people of Barnsley need help and support some more than others. If we keep paying youth workers, local authority PA's 30,000 plus every year then for doing sweet FA, then it is inevitable heads will roll. I don't feel sorry for anyone who loses their job over budget cuts if they didn't deserve the job in the first place. Public money could be spent in better ways than giving this lot a free wage every month to prop up their lifestyle. Bring back quality staff get rid of the shite.

Reply Posted by king louis on Wednesday October 9 2013 at 22:31
there has been a world wide recession for the last 7 years.. all countries blame their past and present governments. It was caused by greed and corruption with Banks and Commerce leading the charge in dishonest dealings and cooking the books.

Anyone in government employ who are losing their jobs today are lucky in comparison to those already into their 7th year of struggle. There is sympathy for their plight but its with a view of "Join the club" expect your new job to be 0 hours contract for minimum wage and with no benefits.

Highly skilled and qualified men who should be teaching their skills to the next generation are collecting trolleys at Tescos supervised by those young people

Reply Posted by Tax Payer on Wednesday October 9 2013 at 22:42
Perhaps we could cut the number of councillors. Does each ward really need 3 councillors?

Reply Posted by Lj on Wednesday October 9 2013 at 23:00
Anon my mum is a youth worker she loves the job!! She works 3 nights a week for around 2-3 hours! As the council won't give her any more hours. She certainly DOES NOT earn £30,000 a year! She IS NO shower of shite. She cares and looks after the youths of today by talking to them, by listening to them, by providing advice and guidance as best she can. How can you say my mum deserves to loose her job when you have no clue what she does and how hard she works for very little?? Maybe if you work that is your job will be under pressure and people may wish you out of a job, lets see how you would feel then. I for one and many people in the industry have credited my mum and other youth workers in her group maybe everyone should stick together and be against job cuts instead of bitching about one another saying who deserves what! You never know what is around the corner.

Reply Posted by Anom on Saturday October 12 2013 at 01:09
Lj your moms not on 30,000 because she only works part time you dim wit. The council won't give her anymore hours because they have realised the youth service are shite. They have been shite for a long time. Absolute waste of tax payers money, youth workers I've shit em. The council have spent millions on wages over the last 25 years on talentless people who simply do not do a good job same as the social services they are a shower of shite. Nobody has a good word to say about the youth service or social services , most of the workers are pinching a living.

Reply Posted by Tray on Saturday October 12 2013 at 01:17
Well said anom. My son had a drug and alcohol problem, he was assigned to a youth worker who also had a drink problem, what's all that about. The youth worker assigned to my son said to him it's ok to have a few drinks now and again it's part of growing up. My son drank 2 bottles of wine, half a bottle of spirits and at least 6 cans of lager every day. He received specialist help and now he's getting better. Went to Connexions for help and they were useless too. I say get rid of all the youth workers and social workers and spend the money on educating parents and supporting them more professionally. Way too much public money be spent on people just taking the Mickey out of the system.