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Thread: Cuts to youth services - your experiences

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    Senior Member dmoorcroft's Avatar
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    Question Cuts to youth services - your experiences

    On 20 October 2010, the Chancellor George Osborne revealed the Government's plans to make £6.2 billion of savings (cuts to the money the Government usually spends) in 2010/11....

    Local councils across the UK are being asked to save £1.166 billion. Many Councils are making these savings by reducing the amount of money they can spend on services for local people. This means certain services are being reduced or cut including youth services.Youth services include lots of different services for young people such as youth centres and clubs, youth participation such as youth councils, and advice and information services.

    We'd welcome the experience and knowledge of youth workers on what services are being cut and how this is impacting on young people.

    Please visit http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/youthservicecuts if you have the time and feel free to circulate the link to any young people that you believe may have been affected.

    Cheers,
    Dave Moorcroft

    SL - 1st Englefield Green Scout Group, Surrey
    Chair - Scout Delegation to the British Youth Council

    Scouting, Studenthood and Stage Management - visit my blog

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    Hi Dave

    Do you need feedback from me as a youth worker or as a scout leader ?

    YIS Tony

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    Senior Member dmoorcroft's Avatar
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    Any feedback submitted through the survey is greatly appreciated.

    But as the chair of the scout delegation to the british youth council, i'd be particularly grateful if you could complete the survey as a scout leader to ensure that the views of our members are correctly represented on the british youth council.

    Cheers
    Dave Moorcroft

    SL - 1st Englefield Green Scout Group, Surrey
    Chair - Scout Delegation to the British Youth Council

    Scouting, Studenthood and Stage Management - visit my blog

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    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    Seems a bit premature to me the effect of the cuts will not really be massively felt until next year and even then there are 4 years worth of gradual cuts so we will only know the effect in 4 years really.

    Peter Andrews ESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
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    Senior Member dmoorcroft's Avatar
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    On a personal level I have already seen evidence of the cuts to youth services! Surestart funding has been slashed! This has already caused 20% of surestart centres to close, putting a lot more pressure on childminders and other childcare providers.

    Funding for local youth councils has been slashed by 20% (although mild compared to the cuts of 85% in switzerland!)
    Dave Moorcroft

    SL - 1st Englefield Green Scout Group, Surrey
    Chair - Scout Delegation to the British Youth Council

    Scouting, Studenthood and Stage Management - visit my blog

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    Senior Member Walsallwizard's Avatar
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    Our Local Authority has already canceled all future grants to youth groups those allocated for this year were halved
    Richard Fenton
    CSL 1st Hartburn Sea Scouts (Graham Mellanby's Own)
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    Senior Member Ian Mallett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiftypete View Post
    Seems a bit premature to me the effect of the cuts will not really be massively felt until next year and even then there are 4 years worth of gradual cuts so we will only know the effect in 4 years really.
    Pete

    This seems a bit of a naive view to me. As someone who was a London Borough councillor in the early 90s during the last property price collapse driven recession, which impacted on London and the South East, far worse than the north, as I found out when I was relocated to Yorkshire. It was still suffering disastrously from the destruction of manufacturing and mining in the 80s and house prices weren't impacted by the Lawson meltdown of 1988 or whenever.

    Certain services have to be provided by statute, and therefore whenever there are local authority spending cuts, they get hit less than the discretionary services because as councillors and local authority officers, you still have to ensure the delivery of certain services. This focusses the cuts onto the discretionary services, of which the youth service is one. I expect, all these, including youth services, will be cut across the country quite hard, and not long afterwards the law and order brigade will start complaining about an increase in anti-social behaviour etc and wondering why it's happening, but you only reap the outcome of the seeds you sow.

    The interesting thing will be whether there is any difference in how the cuts are applied between local authorities run by different political parties or local coalitions. It will also be interesting to see how local Lib Dems, who generally love opposing whatever the local established parties propose, intend to try and wriggle out of responsibility for cutting the revenue support grant to local authorities, which will be the reason for these cuts happening.
    Last edited by Ian Mallett; 10-11-2010 at 08:19 AM.
    Simba (my daughter wouldn't let me be Rafiki, and now she's a Network Scout & ABSL)
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    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    I'm not saying there are no cuts and that they won't affect youth services I am saying most of them are not until next financial year and there are cuts planned for the following 3 years as well. So until all the cuts are worked through we will not be able to see what the full effects of them are and I would say we are only going to be seeing the early signs of cuts locally at this stage and not what effect these cuts will have.

    I'm not sure how that is naive as opposed to properly informed but if you think so fair enough.

    Peter Andrews ESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
    www.falkonerscouts.org.uk

    Previous Scouting Roles
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    Wike, North Leeds District Campsite - www.wikecampsite.org.uk
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    Please note all views expressed are my own and not those of any organisation I'm associated with

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    Can I ask - how do you cut something that isn't there??!

    Youth services around me "disappeared" nearly 4 yrs ago when the youth club was demolished to make way for a new centre - it was part of a 1960's complex of Library, clinic and Youth Club.

    The building has been re-built, the library is up and running, the new council offices are up and running, the health centre is being put together..... but the youth centre is - currently- conspicuous by it's absence!


    As for not knowing what the effects will be for another 3 years...... I agree with the poster who said they are already being felt!
    Once an announcement like that is made things disappear far faster than planned...... it's amazing how many contracts seem to come up for renewal and arent'!
    AM

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    The unpaid help ASLChris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmoorcroft View Post
    On a personal level I have already seen evidence of the cuts to youth services! Surestart funding has been slashed! This has already caused 20% of surestart centres to close, putting a lot more pressure on childminders and other childcare providers.

    Funding for local youth councils has been slashed by 20% (although mild compared to the cuts of 85% in switzerland!)
    Dave, if you're doing a survey on this and want a proper balanced view, you really should try and be impartial. Using words like "slashed" is emotive language.

    I agree with Pete - we won't feel any significant impact for a while yet. And any which are felt now are not due to the government savings/spending cuts, as it has not even been a month since the reductions in national government spending were announced.
    Chris Hawes, District Media Manager, Watford North Scout District and Watford Scouts; Group Treasurer and Webmaster, 9th North Watford Scout Group.
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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Can I ask - how do you cut something that isn't there??!

    It probably is there but you can't see it because of the nature of the way YPS operate.

    I know that locally, even in our relatively affluent area, they have dealt with drugs, prostitution, homelessness, abuse, STDs and doubtless much more that I don't know about.

    I only know that they exist because we did a couple of joint events, If it were not for that we , who work with young people, wouldn't know that they were around.

    Where they don't have a Youth Centre to operate from, they can and do blend into the background. Kirklees just laid off 17 YPS staff, specialists who worked with young people at risk from crime/ drugs and sex exploitation. For >95% of the population it makes absolutely no difference to their awareness of what is going on, except that in time they may become aware of a higher level of crime, drug abuse and prostitution in some areas previously covered by these workers.

    I suspect that if the Government get the economic turnaround that they are aiming for and go into the next election on a high, then they will be saying to themselves, "We got away with it".

    It is a difficult subject. As private citizens we have to make ends meet, or increasingly in a short time we are heading for drastic changes in lifestyle.
    As a GSL, I have to make sure that my Group operates within its financial constraints. We cannot make a loss year after year. In fact, nowadays if we dip near the red and can't pay bills the disconnection letters follow within two weeks, as I discovered when I forgot to pay the Water Bill.

    As a nation, we need to do far better at matching expenditure with income. We have a vast overdraft and spending needs to be cut. That is going to impact on all of us. We allowed the past Government to spend, spend, spend and we took the benefits. At a time when the high streets in France and germany were seeing much reduced traffic and prices were slashed in the stores, and people were paying with money they actually had. here in the UK our high streets were still busy, we were still lashing out with credit and our Government behaved in exactly the same way as the rest of the nation. Now we have to pay the bill. It's going to hurt a lot of ordinary people, it is the ordinary families who will bear the brunt of the cuts. The wealthy will simply reign in a bit. The government may be slashing budgets, but they are making cuts that they know are risky, that they know will hurt them politically, but I'm sure that they can see no option.

    When I was made redundant, I made cuts, the holidays stopped, we managed with an old banger of a car, the Sat TV went, we made do with new clothes, we stopped going out for meals, we simply cut our cloth. Why should government and local authority not do the same?
    Ewan Scott

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    Senior Member Ian Mallett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ASLChris View Post
    And any which are felt now are not due to the government savings/spending cuts, as it has not even been a month since the reductions in national government spending were announced.
    Sorry Chris, but you are incorrect here. Yes the CSR was only announced on 20th October, but one of the first things the government did was announce immediate cuts in public expenditure for the current financial year, in June I think. As the effect of these is being imposed part way through the year, the depth of cuts to make the required savings, is therefore greater than had the cuts been made from last April, because there is a shorter timescale to make them in. These cuts which local authorities are currently aggreeing and implementing, are because of decisions made by this govenment.

    In my council it is already the discretionary services that are getting the biggest hammering, and Bushfella has highlighted a key early casualty, which most of the public won't care about, until the resultant negative anti social behaviour and other crime issues start impinging on them.

    There will also be a differential level of spending cuts in different parts of the country, as government funding is re-directed to reflect the political preferences of the coalition government. This will just reflect the traditional see-saw of government funding allocations to local authorities, where Tory revenue support grant regimes always move money to the local authorities in areas where most of their voters live, and Labour revenue support grant regimes generally do the exact opposite. It's only to be expected I suppose.

    It no good people calling for a non-political or non-partisan system of funding allocations, because there will never be an agreement on what that would be. However if we had a different (fairer and more representative) political system, where coalition government was the norm, the funding system might be more stable, and less subject to politically driven changes, but that is a discussion for another thread.
    Last edited by Ian Mallett; 10-11-2010 at 09:29 AM.
    Simba (my daughter wouldn't let me be Rafiki, and now she's a Network Scout & ABSL)
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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    It no good people calling for a non-political or non-partisan system of funding allocations, because there will never be an agreement on what that would be.
    Indeed, Ian. However, the single simple fact is that we are in trouble, much more trouble than I think we appreciate. Regardless of politics, the economics of the situation say that we HAVE to bite the bullet and make cuts.
    Ewan Scott

    It seems that there are a lot of Nawyecka Comanch around....





    Nawyecka Comanch'": "Means roundabout--man says he's going one way, means to go t'other" Ethan Edwards - The Searchers



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