Councillor Howard Sykes MBE is calling for more youth services in our communities – both youth workers and youth centres. The Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Oldham Borough Council highlighted work done by parliament on knife crime. Studies by a group of MPs showed that schools and youth centres play a central role in keeping children and young people safe. These services should be granted necessary funding. Local Liberal Democrat Councillors in Shaw and Crompton have repeatedly invested their limited local funds in youth services to offset government cuts.
Currently, UK schools are underfunded. Youth services have declined by 69% over the last decade. On average councils have reduced spending on services such as social clubs and youth workers by 40%. Some Authorities have seen funding plummet by 91% over the last few years.
Councillor Sykes says that once the main threat of the Coronavirus is out of the way, we must start investing in our youth communities once again: “The evidence is plain, though this is not just about a spike in knife crime. This is about investing in future generations by building new youth centres and spending plans centred around young people.”
“With every youth centre that closes, a new one does not miraculously open to replace it. Once Covid-19 has been eradicated, we need to turn the tide and start reinvesting in our youth communities and hire more workers for young people.”