dr martens kids uk ‘Crime will soar if youth centres cut’
Dozens of teenagers from four Oxfordshire youth centres turned out to at a public meeting at Oxford Town Hall to call on the county council to scale back proposals to axe funding for 20 youth centres.
Instead council bosses plan to rely on seven ‘hubs’ tackling teenage pregnancy, drug use, school exclusion and youth offending. The proposals will save 4.2 m over four years.
Matty Yallop, 16, from Carterton, helped organise Thursday’s meeting, attended by teenagers and youth workers from Wolvercote, Eynsham, Carterton and Witney.
He said: “Young people accept there have to be changes but we don’t understand why another service for non vulnerable young people is being taken away.
“Prevention is better than a cure. Youth centres work with young people to keep them out of trouble.”
Nicky Wishart, 12, from Eynsham, formed the Save All UK Youth Centres Facebook page, which has 2,000 members.
He said: “There will probably be people on the streets, drugs, and things like that. I think the council realise that but don’t think it is a priority.”
Mr Yallop claimed Eynsham county councillor Charles Mathew “stormed out” of the meeting.
Mr Mathew said he had spent considerable time working to find a solution to the situation in Eynsham.
He said: “When the presentation had finished I did get up and asked them if they were going to explain the efforts being made to ensure the future of the youth club.
“I didn’t storm out, I was shouted down and I was told my question was not being answered and I left. I didn’t come to the meeting to hear a negative point of view.”