Derbyshire youth clubs closure plan shelved

Plans to close all 29 youth centres in Derbyshire have been dropped after fierce criticism.

The county council had planned to sell off the buildings, saying the centres were under-used and funding could be better spent elsewhere.

But opponents said it would leave young people without vital services and more than 16,000 people signed a petition against the change.

The authority said the centres would now be reviewed on case by case basis.

Officials said they still wanted to work with the voluntary sector, but if they could not find anyone to take over the centres, they would remain in the council's hands.

Savings plan

The Conservative-run council will also make £250,000 of grants available to voluntary groups working with young people.

Cabinet member for young people, Barry Lewis, said a consultation had simply done its job.

"The only people interested in U-turns tend to be the opposition and the press.

"From my point of view we have listened to what people said in that consultation and we have responded accordingly and adapted our plans accordingly."

Labour spokesman Alan Charles said: "I am very pleased the Conservative controlling group has done a massive U-turn politically on this issue.

"But really, this should never have happened."

The authority has a four-year plan to save £96m by March 2015 because of a fall in government grants.

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