I have just published an updated 2018 report on my research into youth service cuts.
This follows last year’s report showing that cuts across council budgets in London were reaching crisis proportions. The new results are shocking, and I am pleased that this year the Mayor is now taking some action to help.
The annual cut to youth services reached £38 million in 2017/18, with a further £1.2 million anticipated so far for this year.
More councils responded to my freedom of information request this year, and these shed more light on the devastating cuts in youth worker jobs – since 2011 there have now been more than 800 cuts to full time posts, leaving young Londoners lacking the support and mentoring they need most.
I really hope this is the low point in these cuts and that we may now be turning the corner.
My report gives credit to the Mayor for recognising this growing crisis at last and finding £45 million over three years to fund youth projects in his most recent budget.
However, this will only go a small way to plugging the huge hole in youth service provision, and I am asking the Government to step up too.
If the new funding from the Mayor could be matched by similar levels of funding from the Government, we could get much closer to what was being provided in 2011, and undo some of the damage caused by the cuts in provision.
This would show London’s young people that they are now being listened to, and being truly valued and supported by those in power.