The move to stop thousands of children in West Sussex using youth centres has been called scandalous and short-sighted by Labour’s Chris Oxlade.
From next April, only children who are referred to the youth service will be allowed to access the facilities meaning families will have nowhere to send their children in the evening.
None of this makes sense, the buildings will still be there but only certain people will be allowed in, it’s a ridiculous waste of resources," Chris Oxlade.
The plan is part of a cost cutting move to save £1.65m at West Sussex County Council – an additional £1.2m to what was originally agreed.
The cutback came days after Conservative county councillors voted to increase their allowances and to hike travel expenses by 10% from 53.8p a mile to 59.25p – way above the Inland Revenue rate of 45p per mile.
Chris Oxlade, Labour county councillor and General Election candidate in Crawley, said it showed the Conservatives’ true priorities.
Chris said: “As things stand teenagers can go to their youth centre to get advice on personal problems, attend courses or just hang out with their friends in a safe environment but from April that will no longer be the case.
“Only children who need specialist help will be able to use them and that increases stigma and isolation. None of this makes sense, the buildings will still be there but only certain people will be allowed in, it’s a ridiculous waste of resources and unfair on families and children across the county.
“Youth centres give teenagers somewhere to go and help tackle anti-social behaviour, this move doesn’t benefit anyone.”