Substitute youth centre faces the axe

Little Stoke Youth Centre, Little Stoke Lane, Stoke Gifford, Bristol.

A youth centre to which young people from Bradley Stoke were directed after the Brook Way youth club was closed down last year is facing closure from April 2013 as part of cost-cutting plans proposed by South Gloucestershire Council (SGC).

Interim measures put in place following Bradley Stoke Town Council’s decision to terminate its youth provision contract with Southern Brooks Community Partnership included “signposting” to sessions at Little Stoke Youth Centre, where SGC has been funding two part-time youth workers to provide a club night for Bradley Stoke youngsters.

But that arrangement  is now under threat after SGC announced its intention to transfer control of all 13 of its youth centres across the district to “locally based organisations” such as town and parish councils, charities, community interest companies, social enterprises, staff owned mutual and private providers.

Any organisation coming in to take over the running of a centre will have to take over the upkeep of the building, which for Little Stoke amounted to to £27,800 in 2010/2011.

If no organisation steps forward to take over a centre, it will have to be “decommissioned”, says SGC.

The cost-cutting proposals, which could also lead to the closure of Bradley Stoke’s Sure Start Children’s Centre, are currently the subject of a public consultation that runs until 25th May.

The matter was discussed at last week’s meeting of Stoke Gifford Parish Council, where Cllr Ernie Brown revealed that Bradley Stoke Mayor Cllr Ben Walker has been exploring the possibility of Bradley Stoke Town Council taking over the running of the Little Stoke Youth Centre, an idea which got a frosty reception from his fellow Parish Councillors, including SGC Cabinet member Cllr Brian Allinson.

Read more: “Hands off our youth centre,” say Parish Councillors

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  1. In 2009 Conservative run SGC reviewed Youth services and decided that Bradley Stoke should have a purpose built Youth Centre. However, funding wouldn’t be available for 2 years!

    In the same year Conservative run BSTC decided to close 2 youth clubs in the town and open a Super Youth Club at Brook Way (kicking out numerous established users) as an interim measure.

    3 years on, the Conservatives on SGC have not delivered the promised purpose built youth centre and the Conservatives on BSTC have closed our only youth club.

    Despite telling the public that they haven’t cut the youth budget, BSTC are now only providing youth services (via SGC) for young people between the ages of 13-19. There’s no council provision for the young children which was always the case when Southern Brooks were involved.

    The Conservatives are happy to spend money (including reserves) on new offices for themselves, but not prepared to invest money in our young population.

    However, residents only have themselves to blame as they voted them in last May. I hope over the next 3 years (Local elections will take place in May 2015) residents will come to understand the phrase “We never had it so good” and dump the Conservatives out of power. Only by getting rid of the Conservatives will residents get the services that people need and want.

  2. Because the Liberals ran it all so well didn’t they eh Jon? Never any problem with crime by bored youths was there under your stewardship? Keep up that political point scoring, the moral high ground obviously suits your agenda.

    BTW, you never did respond to my questions regarding your behaviour when you were chair of Southern Brooks Community Partnership such as when South Glos council found that you had “breached the code of conduct by failing to declare a personal and prejudicial interest during a council decision which affected the financial interests of the SBCP”.

    Not one political party has ever covered themselves in glory in their running of this town.

  3. anon-e-mouse
    Well I think the Lib Dems did a pretty good job for over 15 years. At least young people had the opportunity to attend youth clubs when we ran things.

    What’s BTW?

    I never had any other interest except trying to stop the Tories from destroying all the good work Southern Brooks had done..and I don’t aoplogise for that.

    As regards moral high ground, I think the Tories are making the Lib Dems look better than ever. At least I’m pround of everything I did on the Council.

  4. So from your comments are you saying that the lib dems will be voting against the changes for youth provision that SGC is planning on making. A point of reference, Bradley stoke is ment to be the test pilot for all youth services in south glous. Furthermore, the cuts were ushered in with the help of lib dems votes, and it was only after they looked at the detail did they bother to notice the disjointed plans that had been set up. I hope that the lib dems along with labour block the Tories plans to cut 9 sure start centres and every youth centre, unless a town council or other provider finds the funds to keep them open. Far from making the liberals look good, your currently sitting in the same boat as them. However, I await with baited breath to see the liberals vote in block with labour against these poorly planned ideas.

  5. The title of SGC’s consultation is: “Proposals for early intervention and preventative services for children, young people and families”

    Nobody reading that would even imagine that the proposals might potentially include the closing of ALL youth centres and MOST sure start centres in South Glos.

    The title gives the impression of changes to some small (but essential) specialist functions not the cutting of universal services available and applicable to all.

    How can they get away with such misrepresentation?

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