Following a General Debate in the House of Commons last week, Labour Party research has revealed the scale of cuts to youth services across the UK.
The findings, which have been welcomed by Ian Lavery MP, Member of Parliament for Wansbeck in Northumberland, have been presented in a new report from Labour’s local Government team working with the Shadow Minister for Youth Affairs.
According to Labour analysis of Government spending figures, spending on youth services has been cut by 70% since the Conservatives came to power in 2010. This has led to the loss of 14,500 youth and community workers (58%) including 5,500 full-time equivalent qualified youth workers. This has had an impact across the country but also in areas of Northumberland that desperately need Youth Workers to carry out their important community strategies.
Mr Lavery said that; “Included in this important research and statistical analysis is the revelation that the most severe cuts to Youth Services seem to have been made in the most deprived areas of our Nation. In my constituency of Wansbeck, I have been working to see strategies put in place in areas including Bedlington and Ashington, where youth disorder and antisocial behaviour have been on the increase. The only way to tackle these issues is by setting out a proper strategy involving both the Police and Youth Workers but with deep cuts to both Policing and Youth Services by the Tory Government, this is proving much more difficult than it should be.”
Mr Lavery’s Shadow Cabinet colleague, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Andrew Gwynne, said; “The next Labour Government will rebuild Youth Services and develop a bold vision for youth work that is fit for the modern age – one that brings together fragmented services, celebrates diversity of provision and can respond to the unique challenges facing young people today.”
“We want to build a nation for young people where they are safe and secure, treated fairly, supported in the present, and ambitious for the future.”