Jobs to go in Kent youth service reorganisation

Some youth centres in Kent are at risk and about 98 posts will go following a reorganisation of services by the county council.

It has commissioned 24 groups to run centres and projects on its behalf in a bid to "deliver services better".

The council some staff affected were taking up posts with the groups and seven centres were at risk because "no-one has come forward to run them".

Lib Dem leader Trudy Dean claimed the cut was "out of touch" with people.

She added: "Kent people are worried about youth unemployment, anti-social behaviour and the need to provide safe places and activities for young people.

"Though in some areas services will improve, the cuts mean youth centres will close and the service will be delivered by fewer qualified people."

'High quality services'

The local authority said 55 organisations, out of the 128 which had initially expressed an interest, decided to tender to run youth services.

The final 24 that were selected included youth organisations, social enterprises and voluntary groups.

A council spokeswoman said local authority funding would help some community organisations which may otherwise close, continue with their work.

Mike Hill, cabinet member for customer and communities, said: "I want to reassure young people, their families and local communities that through the activities directly delivered by KCC and in partnership with these commissioned organisations, there will be high quality services in every area and for some, there will be even more on offer than before.

"We are pleased that we have been able to award contracts not only to existing large-scale youth organisations but also to local groups who have come together specifically as part of this process."

The council still hopes to commission organisations to run the seven at risk centres.

In September, the Conservative led-council announced that it would be cutting £600,000 (3%) from its youth services budget in 2013.

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