The future of thirty two youth centres in Devon will be decided at a meeting in Exeter today. The County Council wants to keep eight with the others being provided by different groups. A silent vigil opposing the proposals will take place outside County Hall.
Devon County Council says it will retain a professional youth work service and eight area-based youth centre hubs if new proposals are agreed next week.
It says it will include extra funding for communities to help them develop their own local youth services.
It follows a review and public consultation of the Devon Youth Service.
The local hubs are likely to be based in Exeter, Exmouth, Bideford, Barnstaple,Newton Abbot, Tiverton, Totnes and Okehampton.
For the Devon youth service not to wither away over time we have to be creative and bold in order to keep what is most important whilst putting things on a more sustainable basis.
Open-access youth centres are not a statutory function and improving our targeted early intervention work with the most vulnerable young people has to be the top priority.
We also recognise the important role open-access provision has as part of the broader network of local support for young people and we wish to help support this.
Our solution offers the best opportunity to target limited resources on the most vulnerable whilst harnessing the expertise of a professional youth service to support the development of local community based provision.
– Devon’s Cabinet Member for young people, James McInnes