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Questions remain over youth services in Staffordshire

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 30, 2014

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THE fate of youth services in East Staffordshire remains hanging in the balance as organisations wait to discover the level of financial support they could receive.

Staffordshire County Council is yet to reveal the amount of money which each district will receive to provide youth services, after councillors voted to pull out of many aspects of its provision in an attempt to cut costs.

The delay means that organisations looking to step in to fill the gap are at a loss as to how to begin, as they have not been told what they have to work with.

In Winshill, where teenagers will lose their youth centre, parish councillors are waiting to see whether they will be able to step in to help.

At their latest meeting, Councillor Jim Muir said: "If the service is to be maintained, people need to know what is available, because they need to think about funding."

His council colleague Margaret Fletcher said it was 'impossible' to take action at the moment, when so little was known.

A spokesman for the county council said he did not know when the announcement would be made.

The authority is hoping that third party organisations and voluntary groups will be able to provide some of the things which it has had responsibility for.

Hobby clubs and organisations such as the scouts do such a good job, the council says, they should be able to cater for more people.

But Graham Rothery, district commissioner for Burton District Scouts, said he did not think these were the right sort of organisations to replace the work of youth services.

He told the Mail: "There is a need for both youth clubs and other organisations like us. Youth services provide something which is totally different to us. They provide a safe haven for young people, whereas we provide activities for them."

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