Bromley Council branded "extremely short-sighted" over £1.7m cuts to youth services
PUBLISHED: 13:32 25 January 2017 | UPDATED: 17:10 25 January 2017
The council insists its "modern, targeted approach" will protect young people
Bromley Council has been branded “extremely short-sighted” after warnings that youth services cuts could leave youngsters vulnerable to gangs.
The council has slashed £1.7 million (66 per cent) from its youth services budget since 2011 - significantly more than the average figure of £1 million across London councils.
Yet in the same period neighbouring Bexley cut its youth services by just eight per cent, or £185,000.
The figures were obtained via a freedom of information request by Green Party London Assembly member Sian Berry.
“The impact of these cuts could be devastating,” she said. “Good quality youth services help prevent young people from falling into crime and also make them less vulnerable to the exploitation of groups like gangs.”
Labour leader Angela Wilkins also weighed into the debate, branding the council: “extremely short-sighted in its eagerness to cut services”.
She added: “Investing in our young people is not only the right thing to do, it can also prevent all sorts of problems in the future - problems that are often even more expensive than any savings made in the first place
A council spokesperson commented: “Bromley Council has had to make substantial savings over the past few years and we have looked at all our services, including those for young people, to ensure we provide value for money services that are appropriate for our residents within the confines of our resources.
“What Bromley offers is a modern targeted approach under the Bromley Youth Support Programme, which brings together different services, tailored to the needs of young people in our borough.
“We focus on identifying and supporting vulnerable people who are not in employment, education or training, at risk of becoming so, or at risk of getting into trouble. In addition there are evenings which are open to all young people at our youth hubs where advice, guidance and one-to-one support is available.”