Youth service reforms won’t save Sidmouth’s centre

06:00 18 June 2014

Devon County Council

Devon County Council

Archant

Devon’s youth service will be run from eight ‘central hubs’ if new money-
saving measures are pushed through – but vulnerable Sidmouth youngsters will have to trek to Exmouth to join a regular session.

Devon County Council (DCC) wants to cut almost £1million from the current level of service to help balance its books.

It had planned to close all of its 32 youth centres if they were not taken on by voluntary organisations, but reviewed the plans after more than 100 representations from users, parents and communities.

Now Exmouth’s The Hive – an hour away from Sidmouth by bus – looks set to be saved as one of eight youth hubs, although East Devon’s other centres still face the axe.

DCC is also proposing to retain 53 full-time equivalent staff to work both in a targeted role with the most vulnerable and running open-access sessions.

And £100,000 will be available for advice and infrastructure support, with a further £200,000 for one-off grants as the council looks to the community to take over the provision.

Sidmouth youth activist Alfie Weaver welcomed the rethink but said the proposals do not go far enough, adding: “The local hub in Exmouth still leaves the rest of East Devon without provision.

“The idea of young people from low-income families being able to make a journey at night on an expensive bus is unrealistic and shows the lack of understanding the council has towards these vital services.

“The young people who access centres across Devon can be challenging and [staff] require training to be able to defuse any hard situations and create a positive learning and engaging environment – something that DCC’s £300,000 will not cover.

“I still believe that the cuts are short-sighted and will cost the council a great deal in the not so distant future.”

Speaking at a DCC cabinet meeting to discuss the proposals on Wednesday, Councillor Emma Morse said: “Only time will tell whether this experiment that central government is inflicting on us will ruin a generation of children because we didn’t invest enough time and money in them.”

Devon’s cabinet member for young people, James McInnes, said: “Improving our targeted early intervention work with the most vulnerable young people has to be the top priority.

“But we also recognise the important role that open-access provision has for many communities as part of the broader network of local support for young people and we wish to help support and encourage this.

“I believe our solution offers the best opportunity to both target our limited resources on the most vulnerable whilst harnessing the capacity and expertise of a professional youth service.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Sidmouth Herald visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Sidmouth Herald staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Sidmouth Herald account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other News Stories

The Red Arrows at Sidmouth. Ref shs 2900-35-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

The Red Arrows have been saluted for offering to reduce their fee after bad weather stopped them from performing a full display.

Read more
13:04

Opportunist thieves were targeted by police during a three-day festival in Escot Park at the weekend.

Read more
11:01
Himalayan Balsam

Organisers behind an effort to clear the River Sid of an invasive weed have warned it will take years to solve the problem unless more people lend a hand.

Read more

A recent spate of burglaries has prompted a police appeal for witnesses, or anyone who has been offered stolen goods, to come forward.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:54
Ian West completed the gruelling Tough Mudder challenge to raise £1030 for CLIC Sargent

A man who has battled cancer – and lost his brother to leukaemia - undertook a gruelling 10-mile obstacle course to raise £1,030 for a charity that supported him and his family.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:01
Trustee member Adrian Ford and chairman Rachel Johnstone presented flowers to June Waters on her last day as a volunteer at the Sid Valley Memory Cafe.

A widow has backed the Sid Valley Memory Café’s Admiral Nurse Campaign after marrying twice and seeing both husbands suffer from dementia.

Read more
Saturday, August 29, 2015
Josh Gutierrez will soon be heading off to Cambodia where he will take part in a VSO project. Ref shs 7653-34-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

A university graduate has quit his job to go and help families in a struggling third world country.

Read more
Saturday, August 29, 2015
A vintage teddy donated to Jeannie and John's appeal

A couple’s appeal to raffle off teddy bears to thank a prostate cancer charity has captured the imagination of the town – and revealed the impact of the little-discussed illness.

Read more
Friday, August 28, 2015

Sid Valley residents are being warned to be on their guard against fraudsters claiming to offer a discount or rebate on council tax.

Read more
Friday, August 28, 2015
The Red Arrows at Sidmouth. Ref shs 5777-35-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Pictues:

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition today E-edition


Devon's trusted business finder