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Youth service cuts 'misguided'

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: December 19, 2013

By Robin Scott

1168606-M7_NP030113-Shire Hall
Comments (1)

A UNION leader has branded Staffordshire County Council's plans to cut youth services in their efforts to save £109m, as misguided.

Staffordshire UNISON's branch secretary, Steve Elsey, said the plans were light on detail and confusing around the potential savings.

He said he was concerned comments from councillor Ian Parry showed a lack of understanding over the current provision of youth services.

"The assertion that because only one in five young people use youth services in Staffordshire it's not really delivering is very misguided," said Mr Elsey. "It's what that one in five would be doing if they didn't have those services available to them and the impact that would have on communities and the county in the future.

"If you're engaging with one in five young people, you're doing something right. Clearly young people value these services."

He said he was worried about plans which could see Stafford's Shire Hall Gallery closed and sold.

"I have on my desk here a Christmas card from the chair of Staffordshire County Council Ian Lawson showing a photograph of Stafford's Market Square and the Shire Hall Gallery covered in snow with lights on it looking resplendent," said Mr Elsey.

"The slightest contemplation of selling such a building off for short-term gain and to occupy retail space below Staffordshire Place because they can't find anything else to do with it is against the very nature of Staffordshire and it's status as county town."

Mr Elsey said it was unclear where job losses would come from but staff were very worried.

County councillor Maureen Compton said she was astounded at the possible relocation of the library and gallery from the Shire Hall to Staffordshire Place.

She said it would defeat the original concept of creating a cultrual quarter for Stafford.

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  • zoompad  |  December 24 2013, 11:24AM

    The youth clubs and services are a jewel in the crown for Staffordshire, and the youth clubs are well used and always have been. Perhaps Ian Perrys children can afford to pay to go to other activities instead, but other children are not so fortunate. Instead of cutting the youth clubs why can't the vast amounts of money spent on the secret family courts and forced adoptions and fostering agencies be slashed instead?

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