Youth Services Devastated

Youth fighting for their future demonstrate in Parliament Square last week

ANOTHER round of council cuts is set to devastate services for young people in London, with more than £1 million of cuts planned for the 2019-20 financial year, revealed in new research yesterday by Green London Assembly Member, Sian Berry.

Building on the body of research she has been working on since 2016, Sian’s latest report, ‘London’s lost youth services 2019’, shows a growing black hole in council support for youth work:

  • Since the 2011-12 financial year, cuts have removed 46 per cent of funding from London council youth services.
  • Youth centres have closed across the city, with 104 centres and projects shutting their doors.
  • Youth worker jobs have declined by 562.

Sian Berry is asking the Mayor and the government to step in with more funding to restore budgets to pre-austerity levels. Currently, at least £35 million less per year is being spent on council youth services in London compared with 2011-12.

Despite the pace of cuts slowing in recent years, a steep new round of cuts is coming, with £1.2 million set to be removed from budgets across London in 2019-20 compared with 2018-19.

Sian Berry says: ‘The biggest cuts planned in London this year are in Kensington and Chelsea (£1.1 million) and Greenwich (£488,000). A small number of councils are increasing funding, with Newham adding £603,000 to its youth budget this year.’

Sian is asking the Mayor to boost his Young Londoners Fund and extend it into future years, making it a permanent part of the City Hall budget, and she is asking the government to step in and help councils to restore all the services that have been lost since 2011.