The independent London newspaper

Crisis in the city’s youth services

09 October, 2020

Siân Berry: ‘Now is a crucial moment for the government to invest in the young people’

• LONDON’S youth services are in crisis.

Councils have been under pressure to cut vital youth services through a decade of austerity but, amid the devastating effects of this pandemic, our young people need support from youth workers more than ever.

I have written to the chancellor ahead of the upcoming spending review, to demand he reinvests fully in youth services as an essential part of building back better from this crisis.

I asked Rishi Sunak not just to fund councils to bring youth services back to levels last seen before 2010 but to provide for a service that ensures every young person has access to local, accessible, and appropriate activities and youth worker support.

In my work as a London Assembly Member, I have been documenting and exposing dramatic cuts to youth services.

In London since 2011 at least £35million in annual funding has been removed from council youth service budgets, over 100 youth centres have closed, and more than 700 full-time equivalent youth worker jobs have been lost.

Now is a crucial moment for the government to invest in the young people of this city. We need to support those most disadvantaged by the Covid-19 crisis, providing more chances and better opportunities for the next generation of young people to thrive.

Co-Leader of The Green Party London Assembly Member
& Candidate for Mayor


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