16:57 Wednesday 11 December 2013

£109 million council cuts could hit youth centres

Written byLAURA HAMMOND

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SWINGEING cuts totalling £109 million have been announced by Staffordshire County Council in a bid to tackle a huge reduction in its budget from central Government.

Almost 40 youth centres throughout the county, including those in East Staffordshire, are due to come under scrutiny under plans to slash spending.

Care services, libraries and even street lighting are also among the areas facing uncertainty following the council’s announcement this week.

Deputy leader Ian Parry said the authority aimed to reshape services to deliver something which was ‘effective and affordable’.

The councillor added: “By focusing on what matters most to people in Staffordshire and finding new, more efficient and more effective ways of working, we have made a good start on the transformation of Staffordshire County Council and the county’s public sector to meet the needs of local people today and tomorrow.”

As the authority announced its efficiency measures, it also pushed a consultation into children’s services, which will look at altering the way in which these are delivered, and could affect the future of 38 youth centres across the county.

Councillors claim just one in five young people uses their services, and so a shake up is needed. However, in East Staffordshire, the figure sits at 38 per cent – the highest in the county.

The authority proposes working with partner agencies to deliver the ‘efficiencies’

Council leader Philip Atkins said: “We cannot do this alone, and need to work with people, with business and all our partners, both public and private, to make this a reality and deliver a better Staffordshire for future generations.”

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