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.