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Fears that Cheadle youth club is under threat

By Cheadle Post and Times  |  Posted: January 08, 2014

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CHEADLE town leaders fear for the future of the town's youth club as a consultation begins into the county's youth services.

The consultation is taking place from today (Wednesday, January 8) for seven weeks on major plans to change the way youth services are delivered across the county.

Cheadle town councillor Ian Whitehouse brought the matter to the attention of fellow members during the monthly town council committees' meeting on Monday, January 6.

He said: "I've spoken to our county councillor Mark Deaville, and he is coming back with an update of what the proposals are by the county council when he comes to the next full council meeting.

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"Cheadle Youth Club is the only one we've got and it is well supported.

"We've lost enough as it is; we don't want to be losing this.

"We need to make an effort to try and keep this for Cheadle."

Councillor Ron Locker said that Councillor Whitehouse was "absolutely right".

He added: "It's quite noticeable that the elderly have already been attacked by the county council, now they're starting on the youth.

"We have to watch these things very carefully because, as has rightly been said, the youth club is very important.

"We have enough trouble in the town by people only wanting to cause problems and this gives young people training and activities they are interested in.

"It has always been a good club. Members of this council have even helped run that club for the county council.

"But there will be nothing left shortly the way we are going."

Councillor Julie Bull echoed that the youth clubs needed to be kept.

She said: "It's wonderful to have them and we know ours is used by lots of youngsters and other organisations, and is a vibrant club."

Councillor Richard Alcock added: "Cheadle is getting bigger yet it is losing more facilities.

"We haven't got anything we had 50 years ago; there are no bus or railway stations and the town can't go on like that."

Staffordshire County Council outlined how it wants to work more effectively with a range of public bodies and voluntary organisations to give young people better information, advice and activities to improve their lives at home, school and work at a cabinet meeting last month.

The proposal covers services for young people aged 13 to 19 or 25 years for those with a learning difficulty or disability.

The council is considering moving away from a traditional youth service available to all, to one that supports young people most in need and works with other organisations to provide an improved range of things to do and better advice and information. However, fears have also been raised that the plans could see the closure of other youth clubs across the district.

The county council said currently, the authority provides a traditional universal open access service; however, just one in five of the 73,315 young people in Staffordshire used the service in the last year at a cost of £8.73m.

Philip Atkins, leader of Staffordshire County Council said: "The proposal is about achieving the best outcomes for our young people's futures and outlines how we could remodel the work we support or do to achieve better results, particularly for the most vulnerable in our communities.

"No decisions have been made and much will depend on the results of the consultation, but if it the proposal is approved, we would look at every aspect of the service to deliver those outcomes for young people.

"We want to emulate this success. We believe that the proposal going to cabinet will allow us to help young people to build the lives they want, and deliver value for money, but we want to find out what young people and the public think."

The link below will take you directly to the questionnaires for the Activities for Young People.

http://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/yourcouncil/consultationandfeedback/consultationdetails.aspx?consultationid=achieving-excellence-for-young-people&consultationdeptid=education-and-learning

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