Stoke & Staffordshire

Staffordshire youth clubs 'could close permanently in July'

Youth services protest
Image caption People protested against the cuts outside a Staffordshire County Council meeting about the cuts in March

Some youth clubs in Staffordshire could close permanently in July, the county council has said.

The authority sent letters to members at its 60 clubs stating that once some centres closed for the summer break they "may not re-open in September".

It approved plans in March to stop directly providing youth services, in the hope of saving £2.8m this year, rising to £4.5m a year until 2021.

The Unite union said 400 youth workers could be made redundant.

'Totally ignored'

The council said it was still involved in a 45-day staff consultation period, which began on 10 June.

The letter it sent out to members stated: "Many youth clubs close ordinarily over the summer holidays and, depending on the outcome of the consultation, it is possible that some of these clubs may not re-open in September."

John Butcher, who is a youth worker at Knutton youth centre and a Unite representative, said the announcement "had come as a shock".

"We are under consultation but this seems like an indication that the process is a tokenistic one and the decisions have already been made," he said.

The union said 50 full-time and 350 part-time youth workers could be made redundant.

The council said it needed to save £109m from its overall budget over the next five years.

More than 16,000 people signed a petition against the youth club cuts.

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