Youth service to lose half of staff

Half of Warwickshire’s youth service workers will be made redundant as a result of funding cuts.

Warwickshire County Council announced its budget in February, which included cuts of £1.9 million arising from reductions in Government grants for early intervention including youth services.

Overall the budget was cut from £2,4 million for the last financial year to £1.1 million for 2013/14.

Since then youth service staff have been fearing for their jobs.

The 110 staff, including four operations managers, eight senior practitioners, 15 youth workers, 20 workers in charge, 58 part time and assistant workers and five administrative staff, will have to reapply for their jobs with only 15 full-time and 41 part-time roles available.

Chris Spreadbury, secretary for the union Unite’s Warwickshire workplace branch, said: “This came very much of a surprise to us and was not what we expected.

“It’s a massive cut.

“We are currently all on 90 days’ notice and potentially half of the staff will be gone after that.

“We still don’t know if any of the buildings will close.

“It would be nice to think that in the future we might have a youth service of some kind but I doubt it very much because it is not statutory and this is happening nationwide.

Mr Spreadbury said unless extra funding is found the cuts would make it impossible for the service to provide assistance to young people at risk of falling foul of issues such as drugs, alcohol and sexual health problems.

The service would be limited to helping young people getting into work, helping those who are not in employment, education or training and those who are in care or going into care.

Mr Spreadbury said: “ It all looks pretty bleak.

“The council is going to be more of a commissioning authority and with the prospect of cuts of £100,000,000 over the coming years it will only get worse.”