Cuts to youth activities? Don't blame us, says leader

Councillor Adrian Hardman, county council leader

Councillor Adrian Hardman, county council leader

First published in News Worcester News: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

THE leader of Worcestershire County Council has defended his stance on youth funding - and is blaming the economy for making cuts.

Councillor Adrian Hardman has also hit out at the county's Liberal Democrat leader, saying her glass is half empty.

As your Worcester News previously reported, the council has delayed a plan to cut £500,000 from youth activities in 2015/16.

But the following year the spending, currently set at a total of £1 million per annum, is scheduled to reduce to zero.

The authority wants outside organisations like district councils, the police and schools to pick up the slack and believes delaying the initial £500,000 cut will give providers time to prepare.

Earlier this month Lib Dem group leader Councillor Liz Tucker said she was "deeply worried" about it and is trying to get assurances some of that cash will still be saved.

The county council used to spend more than £3 million on youth funding as recently as 2011, with 20 centres reducing to just 12 since then.

The Conservative leadership says repeated surveys have placed youth funding low down the priority list for residents, and has refused to guarantee any cash will remain in two years time.

The £1 million is handed to 23 different organisations which provide youth activities, reaching just under 10,000 young people.

Cllr Hardman said: "I can understand why Cllr Tucker wants absolute certainty over the future, but 20 months is a fairly long period from now to give guarantees over a non-statutory service.

"We still have an enormous amount of heavy lifting to do to get the economy back to stability.

"The fact is, we are putting £500,000 back in so we can take our time to talk to our providers - we are delaying taking that money out so we can provide some stability."

He said Cllr Tucker was being too negative, saying her glass is only "half-full" whereas his is full.

Cllr Tucker says youth workers can't live "on fresh air" and is concerned they will walk away if the money all dries up.

"It's not just about playing cricket, it's about having access to youth professionals," she said.

Comments (9)

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4:49pm Sat 26 Jul 14

pudniw_gib says...

Lets cut the services of those who don't vote. Lets make sure we have another generation of disaffected youngsters.
The Tory government and councils always, without fail, attack the poor and vulnerable and use populist talk to justify it.
Lets cut the services of those who don't vote. Lets make sure we have another generation of disaffected youngsters. The Tory government and councils always, without fail, attack the poor and vulnerable and use populist talk to justify it. pudniw_gib
  • Score: -6

6:09pm Sat 26 Jul 14

dropkick55 says...

Adrian (not short of a dinner) Hardman says cuts are good for those that have nothing. A PROPER TORY IF EVER THERE WAS!!
Adrian (not short of a dinner) Hardman says cuts are good for those that have nothing. A PROPER TORY IF EVER THERE WAS!! dropkick55
  • Score: -9

9:37pm Sat 26 Jul 14

Matt Wilkie says...

Hang on a minute can we see where all the board money goes, the Qango's the corrupt councilors, the white elephant projects like the Hive (library it has less books than WHSmith!) and the excessive pensions that government workers get. Once we sort those out im sure we have enough money for most things!
Hang on a minute can we see where all the board money goes, the Qango's the corrupt councilors, the white elephant projects like the Hive (library it has less books than WHSmith!) and the excessive pensions that government workers get. Once we sort those out im sure we have enough money for most things! Matt Wilkie
  • Score: -18

11:04pm Sat 26 Jul 14

Hugh Wattmate says...

The glass is never half empty, the rest of its filled with air. Anyway actually try fight for extra funding at least or cuts elsewhere.

Really want even more kids hanging around with nothing to do?
The glass is never half empty, the rest of its filled with air. Anyway actually try fight for extra funding at least or cuts elsewhere. Really want even more kids hanging around with nothing to do? Hugh Wattmate
  • Score: 2

8:55am Sun 27 Jul 14

Landy44 says...

Matt Wilkie wrote:
Hang on a minute can we see where all the board money goes, the Qango's the corrupt councilors, the white elephant projects like the Hive (library it has less books than WHSmith!) and the excessive pensions that government workers get. Once we sort those out im sure we have enough money for most things!
Absolutely we should have a root and branch review of where the money god, because as you suggest, most is wasted. If the waste were ever cut (And we haven't really had real cuts at any level of government, local or national. Spend has merely been re-allocated) there still wouldn't be enough funding for every "good" idea and service "we" might want. There will never be enough funding for every pet project, nor should there be. According to the article this "cut" is to a "non-statutory" service. Ergo, it should never have existed in the first place. They need to focus on what they are actually paid and required to do and stop trying to offer every service that someone somewhere might want.

What a lazy, self centred, hopeless set of individuals our society seems to be made up of generally. What a useless, incompetent, self serving, bunch of individuals our councils seem to be made up of generally.

Sad. If you want a youth service folks, those of you who think it necessary, should forget the council, get together and work out how to fund and operate it yourselves. If you don't bother, it shows how badly it is or isn't really needed.
[quote][p][bold]Matt Wilkie[/bold] wrote: Hang on a minute can we see where all the board money goes, the Qango's the corrupt councilors, the white elephant projects like the Hive (library it has less books than WHSmith!) and the excessive pensions that government workers get. Once we sort those out im sure we have enough money for most things![/p][/quote]Absolutely we should have a root and branch review of where the money god, because as you suggest, most is wasted. If the waste were ever cut (And we haven't really had real cuts at any level of government, local or national. Spend has merely been re-allocated) there still wouldn't be enough funding for every "good" idea and service "we" might want. There will never be enough funding for every pet project, nor should there be. According to the article this "cut" is to a "non-statutory" service. Ergo, it should never have existed in the first place. They need to focus on what they are actually paid and required to do and stop trying to offer every service that someone somewhere might want. What a lazy, self centred, hopeless set of individuals our society seems to be made up of generally. What a useless, incompetent, self serving, bunch of individuals our councils seem to be made up of generally. Sad. If you want a youth service folks, those of you who think it necessary, should forget the council, get together and work out how to fund and operate it yourselves. If you don't bother, it shows how badly it is or isn't really needed. Landy44
  • Score: 5

8:59am Sun 27 Jul 14

Landy44 says...

Hugh Wattmate wrote:
The glass is never half empty, the rest of its filled with air. Anyway actually try fight for extra funding at least or cuts elsewhere.

Really want even more kids hanging around with nothing to do?
....as to kids hanging around? They are their parents responsibility! It is certainly not the responsibility of the tax payer at large to provide services to parents who don't look after their own children!

Personal responsibility seems to have vanished.
[quote][p][bold]Hugh Wattmate[/bold] wrote: The glass is never half empty, the rest of its filled with air. Anyway actually try fight for extra funding at least or cuts elsewhere. Really want even more kids hanging around with nothing to do?[/p][/quote]....as to kids hanging around? They are their parents responsibility! It is certainly not the responsibility of the tax payer at large to provide services to parents who don't look after their own children! Personal responsibility seems to have vanished. Landy44
  • Score: 6

9:24am Sun 27 Jul 14

SgtAl says...

The genius Councillor would like the District Councils, Police and Schools to pick up the slack in providing services of young people. And where do these bodies get their funding from Mr Hardman? That's right, the council tax payers or Worcestershire. Coincidentally the same place the County Council receives approximately 70% of its funding.

I wonder of the County council will voluntarily reduce their 'take' from the council tax receipts if this goes ahead and increase that provided to the Police, district Councils and schools?
The genius Councillor would like the District Councils, Police and Schools to pick up the slack in providing services of young people. And where do these bodies get their funding from Mr Hardman? That's right, the council tax payers or Worcestershire. Coincidentally the same place the County Council receives approximately 70% of its funding. I wonder of the County council will voluntarily reduce their 'take' from the council tax receipts if this goes ahead and increase that provided to the Police, district Councils and schools? SgtAl
  • Score: 0

12:29pm Sun 27 Jul 14

New Kid on the Block says...

In the dim and distant days of my youth there were a number of youth clubs in Malvern that to the best of my knowledge were not Taxpayer funded.
I used to go to the Malvern Youth Centre now known as the Cube which was funded. I also went to one at Holy Trinity Church Hall and another one in Lansdowne Crescent which were not.
Though these Clubs were in Church Halls there was no religious element to them.
Various other places used to hold Discos every once in a while and when I got older many licensed premises used to hold regular gigs.
I was also a member of the Scouts where I met several people who are still friends many years later.
Unfortunately organised groups such as the Scouts have to an extent fallen out of favour though there are still many people who do attend and thoroughly enjoy themselves.
The Church Hall Youth Clubs don't seem to exist any more which is a great pity.
Opportunities for young people to enjoy themselves without being a nuisance don't have to cost the Taxpayer. We used to be able to provide these facilities why can't we do so any more?
In the dim and distant days of my youth there were a number of youth clubs in Malvern that to the best of my knowledge were not Taxpayer funded. I used to go to the Malvern Youth Centre now known as the Cube which was funded. I also went to one at Holy Trinity Church Hall and another one in Lansdowne Crescent which were not. Though these Clubs were in Church Halls there was no religious element to them. Various other places used to hold Discos every once in a while and when I got older many licensed premises used to hold regular gigs. I was also a member of the Scouts where I met several people who are still friends many years later. Unfortunately organised groups such as the Scouts have to an extent fallen out of favour though there are still many people who do attend and thoroughly enjoy themselves. The Church Hall Youth Clubs don't seem to exist any more which is a great pity. Opportunities for young people to enjoy themselves without being a nuisance don't have to cost the Taxpayer. We used to be able to provide these facilities why can't we do so any more? New Kid on the Block
  • Score: 6

3:28pm Sun 27 Jul 14

george blewanwhite says...

Hardman 'off message' and obviously unaware of what George Osbourne is saying.

Osbourne announced that the British economy has recovered the losses caused by the financial crisis, passed its pre-recession peak.

One of them must be wrong.
Hardman 'off message' and obviously unaware of what George Osbourne is saying. Osbourne announced that the British economy has recovered the losses caused by the financial crisis, passed its pre-recession peak. One of them must be wrong. george blewanwhite
  • Score: -4

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