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Youth campaigners vow to fight on

Oxford SOS via Player of Games | 22.04.2011 21:08 | Education | Public sector cuts | Oxford

As the County Council on Tuesday voted to cut funding for 36 youth centres, campaigners fighting to save youth services said “this is not over yet.”

Emma Jones, a campaigner with Oxford Save Our Services said “a vote for these centres to be shut down does not mean that there is no need for these services. Our county’s young people will still need safe spaces to go, and support from trained staff. Otherwise they’ll have nowhere to go but the street. So the campaign is only just beginning.”

Police have also criticised the decision to shut youth centres. In December Inspector Graham Dix, responsible for youth justice and engagement said “The loss of those services would mean more opportunities for young people to get involved in crime and antisocial behaviour, so we would oppose their closure.”

The County Council’s staff consultation proposed cuts to all youth worker posts. Louise Chapman, Oxfordshire County Council member has said Big Society funding would save youth centres through use of volunteers. Emma Jones responded “There are already volunteers helping to run youth centres, but they are trained, monitored and supported by youth workers. Without youth workers our children shouldn’t be left to unregulated volunteers.”

Campaigners are now calling on Oxfordshire residents to make clear their anger by contacting the councillors that voted for the youth centres to be closed down. Emma Jones said “We are calling on parents, young people and communities losing these services to call their councillors and demand the reversal of this dangerous policy. Either they reverse it now, or they spend more clearing up the damage they cause later on.”

Oxford SOS via Player of Games
- Homepage: http://oxfordsos.org.uk

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