Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham protest over youth services cuts

Protest in Birmingham
Image caption Young people laid out their shoes as part of the protest in Chamberlain Square

More than 100 people have gathered in Birmingham to protest against plans to cut youth services in the city.

The department faces £1.5m cuts, which could see 30 youth clubs and other services close.

Birmingham City Council said a final decision on the budget plans had not yet been made.

Chris Seeley, from the Unite trade union and one of the organisers of the protest, said youth clubs played a vital role in local communities.

He said they helped tackle issues such as drug abuse, mental health and teenage pregnancy.

"In some housing estates and in some areas of the city that is all there is. When schools are closed and everywhere else is closed, where else is there for young people to go?

"To be in a young person's shoes today is a very difficult place to be. So have a think about young people's position - that's the message both to government and to Birmingham City Council."

He said cuts to youth services had been partly affected by the withdrawal of government money, which he said had led to different council departments fighting between each other to secure funding.

As part of the protest, young people laid out shoes in an invitation to the local authority to consider the budget decision from their perspective.

Birmingham City Council is looking to make £110m savings in its 2013-14 budget.

It said the budget proposal would go before cabinet on 11 February, with a final decision taken by full council on 26 February.

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