Figures show Doncaster's youth service provision has been cut by 60 per cent in last decade

New figures show that Doncaster has had nearly 60 per cent of its youth services funding cut since 2010.
Councillor Lani-Mae Ball, cabinet member for education, skills and young peopleCouncillor Lani-Mae Ball, cabinet member for education, skills and young people
Councillor Lani-Mae Ball, cabinet member for education, skills and young people

Data from the House of Commons library shows around £6 million was available for Doncaster Council to invest in youth provision and services in 2011/2012 but this has fallen to £2.2 million.

Doncaster Labour party has said the £3.8 million cut over the last decade have ‘let down’ young people in the borough and urged the government to invest more money in services.

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Labour councillor Lani-Mae Ball, cabinet member for education, skills and young people, said volunteers and community groups have been ‘struggling to try and provide at least some sort of a youth offer’.

Councillor Ball said the council has ‘worked hard’ to put young people first by ensuring that our MyPlace Hubs continue to be open.

She added that during the summer, the council has had over 100 voluntary and third sector organisations run activities for young people but the government ‘cannot keep relying on goodwill to plug their negligence and lack of funding’.

The share of youth funding has dropped 62 per cent in Doncaster and similar figures are noted for council areas across the Yorkshire & Humber region including Sheffield and Kirklees.

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Barnsley, Rotherham and Wakefield are some of the hardest hit areas with a reduction of 80 per cent or more but Hull actually saw an increase of nearly 22 per cent.

Coun Ball said: “It is important to remember what consecutive Conservative governments have done to council funding and to youth services over the last ten years of austerity.

“Our young people and communities need to see a real commitment and significant increase in funding.

“Youth services have had to be cut, with volunteers and community groups struggling to try and provide at least some sort of a youth offer.

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“The Conservatives have let down our young people and our communities, by cutting funding to the bone for local government and the public sector whilst being able to give tax cuts to big businesses and award lucrative billion pound contracts to Tory friends and donors.

“What we need is for the government to provide sufficient funding to councils and youth services, to support our communities and the next generation. This means fully funding youth services, enabling the provision of more qualified youth workers, a universal offer of activities outside of school and increasing the capacity of specialist mental health services.

A government spokesperson said: “Councils are best placed to know what their communities need – that’s why we’ve increased the funding they can access to deliver services, including children’s services, to more than £51 billion this year.

“We’re supporting families and building stronger communities by investing £500m in safe spaces through our Youth Investment Fund and championing family hubs to offer earlier help and support to families in need.

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“We’re also introducing new measures to protect vulnerable young people at risk of being exploited – including £45m in specialist support in schools to re-engage them in their education.”


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