West Sussex County Council have revealed over 100 jobs in the youth services team are set to be cut. In total, there have been over £3 million cuts planned, which has caused huge uproar with locals. Many are unhappy as Councillors have recently increased their own benefits, which doesn’t leave them standing in a very good light with council staff who are facing an uncertain future. It is expected that up to 50 full time jobs will be lost affecting over 100 employees totally, roughly 30% of the current total staff.
Concerns are that the job cuts are taking place across the youth services team, potentially leaving some children in vulnerable situations without the support that was once there from the department. As of next year young people wont be able to access services on a drop in basis as there simply won’t be the capacity of staff to handle the workload.
The nature of the job sees staff getting to know children who visit the youth centres regularly, and to them it is far from just a 9-5 job. Staff fear there will inevitably be a negative knock on effect, which might harm some of the most vulnerable children who need their help.
Children that use these services need a stable support network in their lives. If the youth centres are closed down, ultimately it is the children that will suffer. Courses on offer will cease because there simply aren’t the resources to deal with the workload. Many youth services offer all kinds of help, such as with self-esteem and confidence issues. This support will no longer be available; children will have nowhere to go and no one to turn to in need, resulting in them potentially causing trouble on the local streets.
The final decisions on the cuts are out of the public’s hands as the matters are seen as internal affairs. Locals are fuming at the outcome, and people plan to campaign against the job cuts for fear it will be taking a steps backward and ultimately jeopardising the excellent work already accomplished by the youth services team.