Friday, 25 April 2014

What is the future for youth services in Devon? .............. Youth Parliament to march in Exeter: Saturday 26th April .......... "The council needs to listen to the constituents to show it is really working for them."

There seems to be growing concern about the future of the County's youth services:
Futures Forum: What is the future for youth services... in Sidmouth and East Devon?

With the District Council not happy about how the consultation is being rushed through:
EDDC asks for more time over youth centre cuts

The protests are becoming more vocal:
Young people urged to join Exeter protest against Devon County Council’s youth service cuts | Exeter Express and Echo
Unions join battle to oppose closure of 34 Devon youth centres | Exeter Express and Echo

Tomorrow there will be a march staged by the Youth Parliament in Exeter:

Young people march against cuts – Saturday 26 April, Exeter, 11 am


The Youth Parliament will be staging a march to protest the £1 Million DCC cuts to their services.

The march begins at 11 am and leaves from the entrance to Princesshay shopping centre and will make its way down to the Devon County Council offices, where they will present a petition.

The Youth Parliament has members from all over East Devon and they will be joined by members from North, South and Mid Devon, Cornwall and Bristol.

Young people march against cuts – Saturday 26 April, Exeter, 11 am | Sidmouth Independent News 

News from last week - looking to tomorrow's event:

Support grows for fight against Devon's youth service cuts

By Exeter Express and Echo | Posted: April 21, 2014

Youngsters at the awareness day in Exmouth on Saturday

An awareness day to garner support for a campaign against proposals by Devon County Council to cut its youth budget was held in Exmouth. Hundreds of people signed a petition against the plan at an event in the Strand hosted by some of the teenagers who will be affected.

The Save Devon Youth Services campaign is being led by Alfie Weaver, 17, from Sidmouth, and George Downs, 16, from Exmouth, who is also a member of the Youth Parliament, with help from Paige Wonnacott, 17, from Exeter.

On Saturday, April 19, with fellow campaigners, they staged an awareness day and petition signing in the Strand which was supported by the East Devon Alliance.

This Saturday, April 26, they are hoping as many people as possible will support their campaign at a protest march taking place from Princesshay to County Hall at 11am.

In February councillors backed controversial plans to slash its youth services budget by almost £1m, threatening the future of its 34 youth centres. In total, the council is proposing £28m of cuts in its 2014/15 budget, with meals on wheels, day centres and council-run residential homes all under review following another big reduction in Government grants. Under the proposals, the council would cease to run 16 centres in Exeter, East and Mid Devon, with the hope they would be taken over and run by other organisations.

The council’s public consultation exercise comes to an end on April 27, so the young campaigners’ protest is their final attempt at trying to change councillors’ minds.

The youngsters have been working tirelessly to raise awareness of the council’s proposals among their peers and in their communities, including launching a petition against the proposals which has attracted around 1,500 names. Their Facebook campaign now has around 620 members sharing ideas on how to raise awareness of the campaign.

On Saturday, April 12, around 400 people signed a petition against the cuts during an awareness day in Honiton.

“A lot of the people we have spoken to have heard something about the proposals but don’t realise how bad the impact could be or that the youth centres are likely to close,” Alfie explained. “The march in Exeter is to encourage as many people to come along as possible to show the council it’s not just young people who are worried.”

Around 10,000 out of the 90,000 young people aged 13 to 19 across the county use the current youth service. Under the proposals around 60 staff could lose their jobs. The restructuring scheme has been described by council officials as a “move from a universal service to a more targeted approach aimed at early help and prevention”.

“The campaign has been a success – there has been a lot of interest and a lot of engagement from young people across Devon,” continued Alfie. “But the council needs to listen to the constituents to show it is really working for them and if it doesn’t it will be sending a message that it is going to go ahead anyway.”

The march will commence in Princesshay at 11am and leave for County Hall at around 11.30am.

To contribute to the consultation visit http://new.devon.gov.uk/youthreview

Awareness Day against Devon County Council youth service cuts held in Exmouth | Exeter Express and Echo

No comments: