Socialist Worker

Angry lobby over cuts to Sandwell youth services

by Louise Harrisen-Powis, Convenor children’s services, Unison (pc)
Issue No. 2396

Some 200 people gathered at Sandwell Council in the West Midlands to lobby against significant cuts to youth services on Wednesday of last week.

A cabinet meeting of the Labour council was considering 54 percent cuts to services that would lead to the loss of 91 jobs.

Young people and youth service staff came to sway children’s services head Simon Hackett from approving the proposals.

Young people chanted and demanded Hackett address the crowd. At one point they surged into the reception area.

The council says they “have to prioritise frontline services”, but open access youth centres are a frontline service.

Hackett did come to address the crowd, but his attempt to blame everything on the government alone met with hostility. 

Young people told him their stories of how the youth service has supported them and changed their lives.

Trade unionists argued that a full consultation has not yet taken place.

While the proposals are set to go ahead, the borough’s young people should be very proud of the protest last week. Perhaps they pricked the consciences of a few council leaders.

 


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Tue 25 Mar 2014, 17:43 GMT
Issue No. 2396
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