Derbyshire youth clubs closure plans unveiled

Plans to close youth clubs run by Derbyshire County Council have been announced.

The authority is proposing to offer grants to voluntary and community groups to provide youth activities instead.

Tory councillor Barry Lewis said the changes were aimed at giving more young people more opportunities to take part in youth activities.

But Labour councillor Alan Charles said the move was an attack on young people.

The proposals are to be discussed at the council's cabinet on 13 December.

If agreed the plans will then go out to public consultation on 20 December, for 10 weeks.

Mr Lewis, cabinet member for young people, said youth clubs were expensive to run and used by just 28% of 13-to-19-year-olds.

"We need to make better use of the money we spend," he said.

"It's time we properly supported Derbyshire's main providers of youth activities - our partners in voluntary and community groups."

But Mr Charles said he was extremely concerned about the proposals.

"At the moment no exercise has been undertaken to see what coverage the voluntary sector can give," he said.

"There is no mention of what youth clubs are going to be replaced with."

The county council currently provides 30% of youth services in Derbyshire, running 29 youth clubs.

The council needs to save £100m over the next five years.

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