Nearly 2,000 young people from across England have signed a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron urging him to stop the government cuts impacting upon vital youth services. People as young as 13 have warned that cuts being made in some local councils will devastate youth centres and projects dedicated to supporting young people. It’s a great example of youth empowerment, and I hope that the government will listen seriously to their concerns, cuts do need to be made, but this year’s budgets seem to have been decimated.
Here’s a clip from Children and Young People Now on young people write to Cameron in defence of youth services:
The letter states: “We are young people who have benefited from the professional support and care offered to us by our local youth services. We are writing to you as a matter of urgency because we are deeply concerned about the impact your government’s spending cuts are already having on our youth services.
“Many of us do not yet have the power to vote, but we do have a voice – and we wish that you would listen to us. We feel strongly that young people are being made to pay for the mistakes made by the City.”
Signatories to the letter include around 50 young people from both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor’s constituency.
The letter goes on to state: “In Oxfordshire, where your Witney constituency is located, the county council is proposing to slash a colossal £4.2m from its youth services’ budget. Twenty out of the area’s 27 youth centres face closure. But this is not just happening on your doorstep.
“Why are young people being targeted so heavily? You have scrapped the education maintenance allowance, the school sports programme is under threat, tuition fees are rocketing and now the coalition is failing to act to protect the youth service.
“We are criticised for hanging out on street corners, portrayed as antisocial trouble-makers by the media. Yet the very centres that give us a place to go; keep us safe and provide us with the guidance we need to make the right choices, are being wiped out.”