Labour Councillors say that Westminster Council’s failure to properly fund local youth clubs will lead to the closure of three CityWest Homes–funded youth clubs. Councillors have been told by CityWest Homes:
“Westminster City Council funding for generic youth work has been reduced in recent years and the projects have increasingly relied upon CityWest Homes funding. The projects funded have been scaled back to three remaining projects at Brunel, Lydford and Ebury Bridge estates.
These three projects have run at a deficit for the past two years and with further funding cuts due in 2015/16 and 2016/17, CityWest Homes are no longer able to meet the minimum costs needed to keep these provisions running.
The numbers of children and young people who attend the youth clubs has dropped significantly, with Brunel and Ebury Bridge youth clubs typically engaging no more than three young people and Lydford youth club often having fewer than ten young people attending.
As a result, CityWest Homes is currently planning to close these provisions over the coming months. It is expected that Ebury will close in October and Brunel and Lydford will provisionally remain open until early November 2015.”
Maida Vale Councillor Rita Begum, Labour spokesperson for Young People, said:
“It is a disgrace that Westminster Conservatives have allowed the Youth Service to collapse. The Council has failed local young people by not providing a high quality youth service. Closing the youth clubs at the Brunel, Lydford and Ebury estates will lead to more anti-social behaviour and potentially increased gang activity””
“A common complaint from young people and their parents is that ‘there is nothing for young people to do and nowhere for them to go’. Well now we know why. The Council needs to invest in high quality youth services across Westminster so that young people have a range of opportunities for their leisure time, rather than ‘hanging around the streets’.”