South Gloucestershire Council’s (SGC’s) ruling Cabinet has voted to put an extra £58k into youth provision in Bradley Stoke following lobbying by local Councillors, who claimed that the town was getting a poor deal compared to others in the district.
The decision, which must be ratified by Full Council on 23rd February, came after extra money became available because of the lower than expected cost of the Council’s recently introduced Youth Unltd concessionary transport scheme.
True to form, Monday’s Cabinet meeting was followed within hours by press releases from both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, each claiming credit for the “youth funding boost”.
The Liberal Democrats’ Jon Williams is quoted as saying:
“Bradley Stoke is one of the lowest funded areas of South Gloucestershire for youth work, despite having the highest number of young people, so I am delighted that my persistence has paid off.”
Conservative Rob Jones had a rather different view, commenting:
“Where the LibDems failed, we have succeeded – but it’s the town’s young people who are the real winners from this announcement.”
Cllr Williams’ exclusion from talks on youth funding between Bradley Stoke Town Council (BSTC) and SGC last year led to him branding Conservative Mayor Ben Walker “dictatorial”.
Minutes of a BSTC Full Council meeting held in private on 6th October last year suggest that Cllr Williams attempted to disrupt the talks at SGC by arranging his own meeting with the Director of Children & Young People at the same time as the Mayor’s meeting.
Asked yesterday whether the whole of the extra £58k from SGC would be spent on additional youth work provision, as opposed to being used to reduce the Town Council’s contribution, a BSTC spokesperson declined to comment.
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