Harlow councillor slams Essex over Youth Service threats

Politics / Mon 14th Oct 2013 am31 09:46am


by Jo O’Reilly

The consultation on Youth Service cuts by Essex County Council was made public last Thursday 10th October, members of the public can have their say on the proposals by taking part in a the public consultation survey online.

Despite this, not everyone feels enough is being done to consult the public, Karen Clempner Essex County Councillor for Harlow West said, ‘Despite assurances to the contrary, I am extremely disappointed that elected County Councillors outside of the Tory administration were not informed about the content of the Youth Services consultation before it went out.’

The survey which has two options one for young people and one for adults, starts with the explanation that money must be saved, ‘The Essex Youth Service currently operates within a £5m budget. There is a requirement to make efficiency savings within the service over the next two financial years with a proposed savings target of £3m by 2015/16.’

Something Clempner is critical of, ‘It is difficult to access, starts from the premise that Youth Services are going to be decimated regardless of the consultation, and the consultation itself is very superficial. While I understand that the Tory-led government’s targeting of cuts at Local Government is putting pressure on all local services, a genuine attempt at consultation would have produced a better result for Young people in Harlow. I will be campaigning hard to save local services.’

Despite the critique, she still encourages young people and their carers to take the opportunity to have their voices heard, ‘Despite its flaws, I would encourage all young people, their parents, and people and organisations providing services to young people, to complete the survey, as well as writing or emailing them directly, and let Essex County Council what they think.’

Karen Clempner will be holding a listening event with Emma Toal Harlow District Councils portfolio holder for Youth and citizenship and Suzy Stride Labours parliamentary candidate on Wednesday 16th October at 7:30pm at the Harlow Youth Services on Harberts Road, ‘We would like to listen to as many young people and their families as possible.’

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