Eighteen Somerset youth clubs facing closure

Eighteen youth groups and centres run by Somerset County Council are set to close, it has been announced.

A council spokesman said seven of the 12 youth centres it owns could be handed over to the community to run.

Eleven groups based in village halls and other buildings, that the council supports with staff or funding, also face closure.

The Conservative-led county council is cutting the budget for youth services by about 75% over three years.

The announcement about the future of more than 40 groups was made earlier. The council spokesman said other youth services would also be reduced.

'Tough choices'

The authority said it faced a 25% funding cut over four years.

John Osman, cabinet member responsible for children and young people, said the proposals would save £2.25m over three years.

He said: "We are faced with tough choices to balance the budget after a harsh government settlement.

"Reducing Somerset County Council's youth services will have an impact on some young people across the county.

"I am sure though that many of these centres will continue to operate, and we are already in detailed talks with several groups and partners keen to explore alternatives."

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