Devizes young people worried about future youth services’

This Is Wiltshire: Laura Mayes Laura Mayes

Young people who use the youth centre in Devizes told Wiltshire councillors to leave the youth service alone.

They spoke at a meeting of Devizes Area Board on Monday night where Wiltshire Council Cabinet member for children’s services, Laura Mayes, said changes would have to be made to the youth service.

As well as saving money Coun Mayes said it was important to redesign the youth service because in some parts of the county it is not well used.

She said the initial plan to cut £500,000 from the youth service had reduced to £190,000, but there would be redundancies among youth workers.

Young people in Devizes expressed disgust at the planned savings.

Rosie Mullins, 17, said: “The young people are really not impressed with any of the options (for the future of the youth service).

“They are all stupid to be honest with you. We don’t quite understand what it means.

“We have got counselling and staff who care for us and positive activities that the youth centre provides for us. It feels as though you are going to take it all away. It’s not fair or cool.”

Coun Mayes said: “The youth service will not be cut completely. It will be different.

“What we have learned through this consultation is we really understand the value of youth work and what it does for young people.

“We have to look at the best way to manage the money.”

She said consultation on the proposals for the youth service was continuing and a decision would be made by Wiltshire Council’s Cabinet on May 15.

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