Crumbs for London youth services

The Government is backing youth services at last, but in London this won’t fill the gaps left by cuts.

Today the Government announced an investment of £40 million in grants to youth services shared across the UK.

However, London will only get a £7 million grant, focused on east London, which is not enough to plug the deep and widening hole in youth service funding.

I published two reports on youth service cuts in London last year, and found that London councils have cut at least £36 million in funding for youth services compared with 2011 budgets.

My research also revealed more than 30 youth centres have shut down in London and more than 450 youth workers’ jobs have been axed.

The new grants announced today will only benefit a handful of charities and youth organisations in London.

I’m pleased the Government has started to value youth services but these grants are crumbs compared with the cuts council have had to make in recent years.

It’s a criminal waste to have youth centres sitting empty. The Government and the Mayor need to do much more to invest in our young people.

Read my previous reports:

See my comments on BBC London news here: