Conservatives secure the future of city Youth Service

    People power

    At last night’s Budget Council meeting, the Conservative Group on Brighton & Hove City Council secured the future of the city’s Youth Service in addition to substantially reducing the size of the cut to the community and voluntary sector and providing increased funding for respite breaks for families with disabled children.

    Councillor Andrew Wealls

    Further successes at the meeting included securing £50,000 to invest in new playground equipment at Mile Oak Rec in Portslade – promised by Labour before the election in 2015 but still not delivered – and funding for new street tree planting and maintenance across the city to help in the fight against Dutch Elm Disease.

    Conservative councillor Andrew Wealls said: “I’m absolutely delighted with the outcome and particularly for the young people who have campaigned so strongly and effectively to save the Youth Service. We’ve also managed to reduce the size of the cut to the community and voluntary sector substantially and support respite breaks for families with disabled children. These 3 issues are all very close to our hearts as Conservatives and I’d like to thank all councillors for helping us to protect these vital services.”

    Conservative Group Leader, Geoffrey Theobald, added: “It is a shame that so many vulnerable people have had to endure months of uncertainty around the future of the services that are so important to them. The fact that our fully costed and deliverable amendments were agreed puts paid to the line pedalled by Labour that they had no choice but to decimate the Youth Service because of cuts in Government funding. If only they had worked with us on the Budget from the outset, all the heartache could have been avoided.”

    Notes for editors:

    Conservative achievements at the Budget Council meeting were:

    • Restoring £440,000 to the Youth Services Budget which Labour had proposed to cut by £645,000
    • Increasing funding by £150,000 for the Direct Payment scheme to secure short respite breaks for families with disabled children
    • Reduce Labour’s proposed cut in the budget for support to the city’s vitally important Community and Voluntary sector by £148,000
    • Investing £50,000 in new playground equipment in Mile Oak Rec, Portslade
    • Increasing the budget for street tree planting and maintenance by £14,000
    • Reducing the money spent on councillors’ ‘Special Responsibility Allowances’ by £43,000
    • Helping to tackle air pollution by removing the discount on resident parking permits currently enjoyed by owners of diesel cars