Now it’s youth clubs which face the axe

A NUMBER of youth clubs are set to be scrapped by Kirklees Council as it looks to save £10m from its children’s service budget. 

Activities are run at around 25 venues, alongside three mobile units aimed at helping teenagers aged 13-19. Up to a dozen locations in North Kirklees look set to be scrapped.

Council chiefs insist savings have to be made across the whole range of youth services in Kirklees and plan to focus their resources on more vulnerable individuals.

The council’s Early Help Consultation document states: “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 we will no longer deliver any open access youth activities but will support community groups and other agencies to do so instead. This is in line with our approach of helping local people to do more for themselves and each other.”

Activities offered by the council include traditional youth clubs, sports, dance and skate park sessions. 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.”

A consultation document is available on the Kirklees Council website.

Centres at risk in North Kirklees are:  Young Batley, Thomas Street, Carlinghow; Batley Carr Community Centre; Al Hikmah Centre, Track Road, Batley; 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.

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