Youth services across Shropshire are facing closure after the Tory Council’s cabinet backed recommendations to halve the budget.
A report to this week’s cabinet meeting proposed withdrawing all financial support from eleven youth clubs across the county, including two in Shrewsbury. The council will now consult on exactly where the cuts should fall.
Councillors for the areas threatened with losing all their provision – including Wem, Gobowen and Longden/Rea Valley – argued at the cabinet meeting that the axe should fall on someone else’s youth club.
But Labour group leader Alan Mosley said the issue was the massive reduction in the amount of money available for youth activities, not whose youth clubs should close first.
“This council will stand condemned as an organisation that does not look after the needs of its elderly and its young people. The massive inadequacies of this council’s finances are a clear condemnation of the failed austerity policies of the party it represents.”
“No longer will the people of Shropshire agree to policies which are draining services for the most vulnerable. ”
Shropshire currently funds 25 youth clubs in nine communities. From next year only 15 will be supported – five in Shrewsbury, two in Market Drayton, two in Oswestry, two in Bridgnorth, two in Whitchurch and two in Ludlow, subject to consultation.
The proposals will cut spending on local youth provision by 43%, saving the council £100,000.