Leicester

Fears over potential youth cuts in Leicestershire

There are concerns anti-social behaviour in Leicestershire could rise if cuts to the youth service go ahead.

The Conservative-run county council is planning to cut £1.5m from its £4.2m youth service budget.

Tim Monk, who chairs a group called CYCLe (County Youth Council of Leicestershire), said the cuts could leave young people feeling isolated and more at risk of criminal activity.

The council said it would "continue to work in areas with the biggest impact".

'Not an excuse'

Mr Monk said young people who had gone through years of support from a youth worker during tough times would end up confused if the resources were cut.

He said many teenagers had told CYCLe they would return to their previous behaviour without the support.

Conservative Councillor Ernie White, the lead member for children's services at the county council, said: "There are sadly some young people who misbehave surrounded by resources and facilities and things to do.

"It's not an excuse to misbehave because someone reduces a budget.

"The fact is, the challenge for me, and officers and the county council in general, is from £2.7m remaining resource for the youth service, we have to make sure we get value for every pound that we spend."

A spokesman for Leicestershire County Council said the size of the budget reductions meant it was "considering a reduction in the number of youth clubs and projects the service operates," he said.

He said the voluntary sector would be approached to see if it could take on some of the services.

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