Youth club work faces ‘disproportionate cuts’

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News of a big cut in money available for youth clubs and voluntary organisations has been met with anger.

The changes agreed by the county council will see a cut of £518,000 over a four-year period starting 2015-2016 and will adversely affect the “voluntary sector funding agreement”, said Chris Cox, chairman of the Warwickshire Association of Youth Clubs.

He said: “This cut will impact significantly on the work all of the voluntary service organisations can deliver within Warwickshire.

“I am also concerned that there is no ring-fencing for work with young people.

“The nearly £20,000 we received from the county council enabled us to support 100 youth groups in Warwickshire, working with 1,139 volunteer youth workers and supporting 9,200 young people.”

The Warwickshire Association of Youth Clubs has its headquarters in Leamington.

Mr Cox said voluntary youth clubs are about the only youth-work provision left in Warwickshire after councillors “slashed” its statutory spending on youth work by 59 per cent.

He said it was one of the biggest cuts to youth service in the country, saying: “Most of its youth clubs have subsequently closed as it is difficult to find volunteers to take on the task.

“Whilst I agree with the need for efficiency savings, the voluntary sector has suffered disproportionate cuts over the last five years.”

Mr Cox said it made no sense to increase the pot by £124,000 over four years that councillors can donate to individual community schemes.

“This is both irrational as any efficiency gains are lost within the administration of a proliferation of smaller projects, but it is also cynical as it panders to the councillors who are to vote on the 
eventual shape of this area of funding.”

He said it would be better to invest that £124,000 in two fundraising development workers to bring in funds for voluntary groups.