Continued from Part 1.
Caroline Laing said that officers had been asked for savings [in the Youth and Play Service] of £1.2 million which had led to a report to the Cabinet meeting of the 18th February.
She continued by saying that the Budget option would consolidate the existing youth clubs into four youth hubs and would result in a reduction in the number of outreach teams and the closure of eleven satellite youth clubs. The proposals would be discussed and had been recommended to the Budget Council meeting of the 5th March. The Leasowe Youth Club was proposed to be closed with no recommendation to be saved, meetings had been held with Leasowe Community Homes and 7 Waves Community Radio over an exit strategy, there would be a locality manager to give advice and guidance to voluntary organisations and there would still be some outreach provision which would be focussed on more targeted activity.
Cllr Blakeley said that before he asked for questions about Moreton Youth Centre, he want to ask if Moreton Youth Club would stay open until the Birkenhead hub costing £1 million opened?
Caroline Laing said it was worded until but she didn’t know the answer.
Cllr Blakeley said it sounded like the Moreton Youth Club wouldn’t close until the super Hub was open and asked for any questions?
A member of the public asked what criteria were used to decide what youth centres closed and which stayed open?
Caroline Laing answered that the decision was made by Cabinet, but in relation to the Budget four would be retained.
A member of the public involved with a voluntary group that used a youth club said that they hadn’t been consulted on closure and knew of another voluntary group in the same position. Tracey Smith said that managers had been provided with the detail of the consultation. Cllr Lewis asked the member of the public to see him at the end so he could liaise between her and the locality manager. Caroline Laing pointed out that the locality manager appointment had not yet been made.
A member of the public called Steve said that the youth club had been known as Cadburys Youth Club and that he’d been one of the first to go it many decades ago. It had been built for the people of Moreton, but had since gone to Wirral Council. He said it was scandalous that now people would not have anywhere to go to at night, that there would be more people hanging around if they removed provision and questioned how people would be able to afford the bus fare to Birkenhead and back finally saying it was “not right”.
Continued at Part 3.
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