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.
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