Norfolk, Bedford and Northamptonshire youth service cuts among worst in England, research suggests

Research suggests that spending on youth services has been cut by over 80 percent over nine years in some East of England areas.

YMCA gathered data from 84 local authorities on planned spending for 2019/20. Nearly a third of local authorities that responded to the organisation's requests for data will spend 80% less in 2019/20 than they did in 2010/11.

Norfolk, Northamptonshire and Bedford were among these areas. Over the nine year period, YMCA expects funding for youth services to fall by around 90 percent in Northamptonshire and Norfolk. In Bedford, the figure was around 85 percent.

Previous research by the organisation showed the total spent by localauthorities in England on youth services steadily decreased between 2010/11 and 2018/19.

In 2010/11 a total of £1.18 billion was spent, compared with £385 million eight years later.

The Chief Executive of YMCA England and Wales said youth services help youngsters to avoid violent crime.

The YMCA has launched a petition calling on the government to reinvest in youth services. The organisation is also encouraging supporters to contact their local MP about the issue.