Workers for youth clubs face the chop

YOUTH clubs in Calderdale are under threat because of council spending cuts – and jobs will go too.

About £200,000 needs to be trimmed from the young people’s service budget next year and another £140,000 in 2013.

A detailed review by councillors has concluded: “Some staffing reductions will be inevitable.”

Although they want the service to remain universally accessible, they insist it must focus its work in areas of Calderdale where young people face the biggest problems.

That focus should include combating substance, drug and alcohol abuse, anti-social behaviour and teenage pregnancy.

It also needs to help tackle problems associated with poor school attendance, family problems, homelessness, bullying and assisting young people who are not in work, education or training.

The review of young people’s services began in July under the leadership of Coun Megan Swift (Lab, Town). In her final report, she says focusing on those most in need will help prevent more formal intervention from the social care or criminal justice system.

“The service should continue to be delivered from buildings in different parts of Calderdale, rather than a model of delivery that operates without youth centres.

“But in 2012, savings should be achieved by reducing costs, reducing the number of buildings and by using the remaining buildings more efficiently.”

Councillors also want efforts to be made to raise extra income to cushion the need for staff cuts.

Their recommendations from Calderdale Council Children and Young People’s Panel will be put to the cabinet.

As part of their investigations, councillors held a meeting at the Mixenden Activity Centre and visited Queen’s Road Neighbourhood Centre, Raven Street Youth and Community Centre, Youthworks, in Crossley Street, Halifax and Luddenden Foot Youth Centre.