Ealing Slash Funding For Summer Youth Programmes

Council blame the huge reduction on central government cuts

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Young people in Ealing Borough are likely to have missed out on summer programmes this year after it was revealed that the borough has made some of the biggest cuts in the whole of London.

Summer holiday youth programmes are provided by councils for young people to attend over the six week holiday.

Sian Berry

New data released by Sian Berry AM for The Green Party shows that Ealing is now spending just £7,100 a year compared to its height (2013/14) when the figure was £36,044.

(FOI response to Sian Berry: Council summer holiday budgets )

The budget has been reduced by 80 per cent - greater than the overall cut to universal youth budgets.

The findings show:

Bromley and Greenwich council have reduced budgets by the largest amount in cash terms - both have cut around £85,000 from summer youth programmes since 2013/14
The highest percentage cuts were by Ealing (80 per cent) and Bromley (78 per cent). In Ealing, this is greater than the overall cut to universal youth budgets. Earlier research showed that Ealing has cut 50 per cent of youth service funding since 2011/12.
In contrast, some councils have increased summer youth funding in recent years. Haringey has increased support by £95,000 and Merton has added £18,000 since 2013/14.
The best funded summer youth programme is in Greenwich, with £242,400 being spent.

Sian Berry says, “Now more than ever, young people in London need good quality summer holiday activities. Getting access to positive opportunities and inspiring places to go over the summer shouldn’t be a postcode lottery for young people.

“These activities do not cost a huge amount. I know councils are cash strapped but young people should be a priority for every borough – not just the handful that have put extra funding in. The councils that have cut back on summer programmes need to look at the potential harm they are doing and think again.

“The Mayor has put some extra funding into summer holiday youth programmes his year which will help, but councils need to play their part too.”

Councillor Yvonne Johnson, cabinet member for schools and children’s services said, “The council has had its central government funding reduced by 64% since 2010, because of this we have to make difficult decisions on the services that we provide for residents in order to meet the shortfall. We are committed to young people and despite having to make changes to services provided there have still been a large number of activities this summer provided by the youth service and other funded providers. I would encourage all of those that are interested to go on to the Young Ealing website to find out more.”

September 9, 2018

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