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Reprieve may be on the cards for under-threat Stone youth centre

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: January 30, 2014

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A REPRIEVE could be handed to Stone Youth and Community Centre after plans to cut youth services in Staffordshire threatened it with closure.

The proposals by Staffordshire County Council will see its youth provision moved from a council-led building-based service to one run by voluntary or charity groups in plans Stone Town Councillor Philip Jones said were meant to ‘curtail expenditure’.

“There’s one thing we need to turn our attention to and that is the Stone Youth Centre,” said Councillor Jones. “What I am going to suggest is finding out if the county council would be amenable to an approach from the town council to take over the running of the youth and community centre.

Councillor Jones said due to changes in Government financing district and borough councils were seeing improvements in their finances.

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“Stafford Borough Council, whatever they may say to you, are getting some money in,” said Councillor Jones. “I think I it would be a good idea for them to help us with this.”

Councillor Mark Green asked for the matter to be put on a future council agenda to be discussed in detail.

“Personally, I think we have got to keep our youth centre open for the youth of this town,” he said.

Jack Taylor, 16, a student at Stone’s Alleyne’s Academy took to Twitter to voice his anger over the plans, in a dispute with deputy leader of Staffordshire County Council and representative for the Stone Rural ward, Ian Parry, calling the proposals 'vile' and saying the current youth services meant 'too much to too many young people' to be lost.

"Don't cut youth services in Staffordshire," he wrote. "If you do you are a disgrace to the county."

Councillor Parry replied, saying: "But four out of five youth tell us they don't use them.

"Perhaps let’s just explore new options and ideas," he said. "It might even be better."

He went on to suggest anyone with any concerns about the proposal use the formal consultation to voice their fears to the county council.

Jack said: "So, cutting them completely and losing amazing youth workers is really the best option?

"And how do you know four out of five people don't use them?

"Because I never took part in your survey and neither did my friends!"

Jack told the Newsletter he would be actively campaigning against the proposals and encouraged any interested parties to contact him at HYPERLINK "mailto:taylorjack2010@hotmail.co.uk" taylorjack2010@hotmail.co.uk or on Twitter @JackTaylorTog.

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