Tory-run South Gloucestershire council agreed to slash funding for its youth organisations today (Wednesday 2nd March).
At a fractious meeting of the Children & Young People committee, Liberal Democrat and Labour efforts to protect the funding went to no avail, as all 7 Tories voted to cut the money in half. With all 6 Liberal Democrat and Labour members voting for the youth services, any one Conservative could have swung the vote.
Liberal Democrat Councillor Ian Blair said: “I cannot countenance further cuts to the youth service budget. This is going to cause real tension in communities, and be detrimental to South Gloucestershire being ‘a great place to live and work’. The Tories have called this funding ‘unsustainable’ – but they’re using the money to pay for a ‘sustainable’ cut to the cost of a green bin! They chose to make the youth service unsustainable, to give a 50p tax cut to people with big gardens.”
Councillor Maggie Tyrrell added: “Since Krunch expanded our youth services in Thornbury, police have seen a dramatic reduction in low level crime. Youth services help people, at a time when they often want guidance from outside the family home. It’s ridiculous to cut such a service. The consequences will be horrific, and cost much more than properly funding the youth service in the first place!”