Cuts to youth services to be reversed after £500,000 funding boost

Cuts to youth services in Redbridge will be dramatically scaled back according to the council’s deputy leader.

Cllr Ian Bond said that £500,000 of additional funding had been identified in the council’s next budget which, if agreed by council on February 28, would allow most of the planned cuts for 2013/14 to the borough’s youth services to be reversed.

The announcement follows a meeting between cllr Bond, Keith Prince leader of the council and representatives of the borough’s Youth Council.

The extra cash will mean that the borough’s three youth centres, including the Wanstead Youth Centre in Elmcroft Avenue, will be able to maintain all of their weekly sessions.

The Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award, which was also facing the axe next year,  will now continue.

And a funding reduction of £400,000 originally agreed for the borough’s Connexions service will now be reduced to £76,000.

Connexions provides young people with advice and information on issues ranging from sexual health to employment and training.

The announcement follows a survey people by the Youth Council in which 1,000 young people were asked to identify the services they value most in Redbridge.

Cllr Bond said: “We know that many young people face challenging circumstances right now, and so I am very pleased that we have found extra money to protect the services that they value. 

“The Youth Council has worked very hard to find out what our young people think, and we’ve done our best to listen and respond to their initiative”

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