Youth clubs in Kirklees are set to be scrapped under plans to save £10 million on children’s services.
Kirklees Council currently runs 10 youth ‘hubs’ across the district providing activities at around 25 different venues.
The council also runs three mobile units aimed at helping teenagers from 13-19 set up and run their own youth clubs.
Activities offered by the council include traditional-style youth clubs, sports activities, dance, midnight soccer and skate park sessions.
It is thought school holiday clubs also run by the council will go.
The threat to youth clubs emerged as Kirklees Council published its public consultation into the future of children’s services.
Council chiefs say savings must be made and resources will be concentrated on helping vulnerable children and families.
They hope community groups and volunteers will take on the running of youth clubs.
Also bearing the brunt of cuts will be children’s centres for mums with babies and young children.
A council insider told the Examiner that the closures of children’s centres had over-shadowed the threat to the youth service, and that staff had been told not to speak out.
The source said there were as many as 240 staff in children’s services and it was feared up to a third would be axed.
The threat to youth clubs is given a brief mention in the Early Help Consultation document.
Tucked away on page 10 it says: “In order to achieve our early help vision we are proposing to focus on resources on those young people and families who are experiencing a number of different issues or problems.
“As a result we will no longer deliver any open access youth activities but will support community groups and other agencies to do so instead.”
In a statement a council spokesman said: “Our priority is to help those people with the greatest needs and we have been working hard with local people to find out how we can change our current way of working to best manage our financial challenges.
“When there is less money available, we have to make sure we support the most vulnerable people in our communities.
“The proposed changes reflect this and are just one part of the overall process of transforming what we do and how we do it.
“We will always help children and families who need extra help and support, for example through child protection.
“The youth service currently delivers targeted and universal services from 10 youth hubs and also uses three mobile units.
“Youth activities are delivered from a further 25 locations across Kirklees. This means that children and young people living in Kirklees have access to a range of activities.
“In order to achieve our early help vision, we are proposing to focus our resources on those young people and families who are experiencing a number of different issues or problems.
“As a result, it is proposed that we will no longer deliver any open access youth activities but will instead support community groups and other agencies to do so.
“This is in line with our approach of helping local people to do more for themselves and each other.”
Click here to take part in the consultation: http://www.kirkleestalk.org/index.php/get-involved/early-help-consultation/
- The hubs are run at these centres:
- Paddock Young People’s Centre
- Bradley Community Centre
- Lowerhouses Lounge
- Deighton Sports Arena
- Birkby/Fartown Community Centre
- Rawthorpe Community Centre
- Brian Jackson Centre
- Netherton Moor Community Centre
- Mount Pleasant School, Lockwood
- Phoenix Centre, Holmfirth
- Skelmanthorpe Youth and Community Centre
- Slaithwaite Town Hall
- Young Batley, Thomas Street, Carlinghow
- Batley Carr Community Centre
- Al Hikmah Centre, Track Road, Batley
- The Hub, Riley Lane, Kirkburton
- Emley MUGA
- Ravensthorpe Community Centre
- Thornhill Lees Community Centre
- Young Dewsbury at Dewsbury Town Hall
- Crow Nest Park, Dewsbury
- Dewsbury Arena
- Heckmondwike Scout HQ
- Windy Bank House Community Centre, Hightown
- Cleckheaton Library