Published: December 22, 2011
Burnham-On-Sea MP attacks county council over youth cutbacks

Burnham-On-Sea MP Tessa Munt has this week called on Somerset County Council to reverse its decision to drastically reduce its funding for youth services, warning that the 'damaging cuts' could face a legal challenge.

She is angry at the council's controversial decision to cut funding for youth services by 75%, including all youth clubs in Somerset.

The council has accelerated its plans to reduce the services, making extra cuts in early 2012, whereas its previous plans had phased in the reductions over a period of several years.

Tessa, pictured, said on Thursday: "I have written to the Chief Executive of Somerset County Council asking for more information on the scale, the timing and the lack of consultation. It is unfair to impose massive cuts without talking to those involved."

"For many young people, these services are not a luxury, but a lifeline that allows them to develop, learn and be an active member of their community, and society generally. These cuts will see more and more disengaged young people which affects us all, not just the young."

"I understand the County Council may find itself facing a legal challenge, just as it did after it made the decision to close local libraries without proper consultation. I think the council should abandon this idea too."

The County Council said earlier this year it wants to save £2.25m by reducing youth services as part of a raft of financial cuts. Council Leader Ken Maddock said: "We have less money. We have big debts. And we have more demands on our services. Something has to give."


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