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Wolverhampton youth service threatened by £1.75m budget cut

Unite accuses Labour-run city council of sacking staff to rely on volunteers

Youth services in Wolverhampton are to be butchered in the latest round of cuts imposed by the coalition government, Unite warned yesterday.

Children’s services are under attack across Britain, with a survey of councils last year showing that 19 had halved their youth budgets.

The average cut in England was 27 per cent, with yet more on the chopping block.

And, as the Morning Star reported earlier this month, youth services which help tens of thousands of youngsters in south-west England face the axe as county councils implement government cuts.

In Wolverhampton the Unite union has accused the Labour-controlled city council of hoping volunteers would pick up the pieces of its shattered youth services.

The council plans to reduce the services’ budget by a further £1 million on top of £750,000 already axed.

Unite has calling on the council to invest in an in-house service putting youth work back at the heart of the community.

It says the cuts could see just eight youth work positions left, with up to 140 redundancies.

Unite national officer Collette Cork-Hurst said: “Council leaders are relying on a dangerous ‘slash and see’ model in the hope that volunteers will pick up the pieces of the abandoned services.

“But young people and communities value the work and relationships with professional youth workers.

“The council’s plans are an insulting blow to the thousands of Wolverhampton’s young people who rely on the service for support on employment, health and personal issues and much more.”


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