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Conservatives express delight at Youth Service reprieve

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Conservatives have warmly welcomed the decision by Policy & Resources Committee last night to agree their Notice of Motion which will call a halt to City Council Budget proposals to terminate its Youth Collective contract with 6 voluntary sector organisations in March.

Under the Council’s plans, all Youth Services would have been delivered by the Council’s ‘in-house’ team, without any assessment being made of its relative effectiveness and value for money compared to the voluntary sector providers.

The Notice of Motion, proposed by Group Leader, Cllr. Geoffrey Theobald, and seconded by Group Finance Spokesperson, Ann Norman, was supported by the Labour Group and one member of the Green Group.

The Notice of Motion also agreed to ask Council officers to find transitional funding for 3 other voluntary groups who work with young people – Allsorts, BME Young People’s Project and Extratime – whose grant funding runs out at the end of March.

Conservative Group Spokesman for Children & Young People, Andrew Wealls, said: “I believe that this is great news for the City and for the voluntary organisations that make such a vital contribution to the well-being of young people here in Brighton & Hove. We are not disputing the fact that savings need to be made in the Youth Service budget – all we are asking is that a proper commissioning exercise be undertaken by the Council in October, with a genuinely level playing field for all organisations who want to provide youth services in the city.

Conservative Group Communities Spokesperson, Dee Simson, added: “This whole episode has caused a great deal of unnecessary uncertainty and anxiety in the Youth Collective and the young people they work with. I hope that we can now all put politics aside and move forward together to make the best use possible of the money that remains in the Budget.”

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