Cat, the Shadow Minister for Voter Engagement and Youth Affairs has today revealed Labour’s plans for a Statutory Youth Service alongside a new consultation.
Labour is committed to creating a quality youth service for all young people that is protected by new legislation. To deliver on this ambition, the next Labour government would mandate a national body with dedicated ring-fenced funding to oversee youth service provision across England. This national body would work with local youth partnerships in every local area to support service delivery across the country.
Labour is encouraging anyone with interest in shaping youth services to take part in a new consultation which Cat will lead.
New analysis by the House of Commons Library commissioned by Labour indicates that local authority spending on universal youth services has fallen by 52% in real terms since 2012. Furthermore, research shows that under the Conservatives, over 600 youth centres have closed.
With knife crime rising by 16% in England and Wales in the last year alone, Labour is committed to reversing cuts to youth services and providing good quality youth services in every community as part of a public health approach to tackling violent crime and to help young people fulfil their potential.
This consultation is the first step in delivering youth services that support young people and prevent them from being exploited by gangs and falling into a life of crime.
The Government has left youth services across the country devastated after eight years of unnecessary and unjustified austerity.
With youth services targeted for budget cuts, the Tories have created the conditions in which crime can thrive, leaving young people vulnerable to violence and denied the opportunity to build a positive future.
Enough is enough.