Swindon AdvertiserYouth workers’ jobs are all under threat (From Swindon Advertiser)

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Youth workers’ jobs are all under threat

Swindon Advertiser: Alan Tomala, regional officer for Unite, outside County Hall Alan Tomala, regional officer for Unite, outside County Hall

ALL youth workers in Wiltshire are now under the threat of redundancy amid fears that vulnerable youngsters will be left without expert help following a Wiltshire Council decision to slash staff numbers.

The redundancy process started yesterday as the council cuts the number of youth workers from 144 to just 25.

Unite regional officer Alan Tomala said: “This is our worst fear being realised and there is a lot of anger out there not just from our members but from the young people the council is meant to be looking after.”

Scores of youngsters packed the public gallery last Thursday to hear Wiltshire Council’s cabinet ratify a plan which will save £250,000 from the youth services budget.

Afterwards there was anger among the young people who accused the councillors of failing to listen to what they had said during the 10-week consultation period which generated 2,000 responses.

Leah Lock, 19, who regularly attends the Canberra Youth Centre in Melksham, said: “They haven’t listened to us at all.

“Without the youth workers Melksham is nothing.

“The youth workers are the main reason everyone goes to Canberra, because everyone gets along with them.”

At the moment the majority of youth workers are employed on a part-time basis which equates to 48 full-time positions but by October all the 25 jobs on offer from the council will be full-time posts.

Last Thursday the council voted to go-ahead with a community model that will pass the running of centres over to area boards. In the future if more youth workers are needed on top of the 25 funded by the council they will have to be paid for by charities such as Youth Action Wiltshire.

Lib Dem leader Jon Hubbard accused the council of putting vulnerable youngsters at risk by depriving them of youth workers with whom they had built up trust over a number of years.

He said: “I have received an email this week from a young person who is really distraught at the thought of losing the youth worker who has really helped them.”

Cabinet member for youth services Laura Mayes said after the meeting that she understood the anxiety of young people but said she was confident that the pain being caused now would ensure the youth service would survive in the future.

She said that youth club buildings would start to close quite quickly as saving money on the centres was one way the council was able to keep more staff. But she pledged no building would close until an alternative venue such as a village hall was found.

Major changes are expected to start in October and be complete by April, 2015.

Comments (6)

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11:22am Thu 22 May 14

Badgersgetabadname says...

Shocking really, who has decided that this was the best place to save £250k. Youths and anti social behavior is a major point in Wiltshire how is this going to make anything better?
Shocking really, who has decided that this was the best place to save £250k. Youths and anti social behavior is a major point in Wiltshire how is this going to make anything better? Badgersgetabadname
  • Score: 0

1:04pm Thu 22 May 14

house on the hill says...

Badgersgetabadname wrote:
Shocking really, who has decided that this was the best place to save £250k. Youths and anti social behavior is a major point in Wiltshire how is this going to make anything better?
I would imagine the councillors that everyone is telling us we should go out and vote for! That's the problem when people are elected rather than qualified to do the job!
[quote][p][bold]Badgersgetabadname[/bold] wrote: Shocking really, who has decided that this was the best place to save £250k. Youths and anti social behavior is a major point in Wiltshire how is this going to make anything better?[/p][/quote]I would imagine the councillors that everyone is telling us we should go out and vote for! That's the problem when people are elected rather than qualified to do the job! house on the hill
  • Score: 0

10:17pm Thu 22 May 14

Localboy86 says...

Does this affect swindon?
Does this affect swindon? Localboy86
  • Score: 0

7:00am Fri 23 May 14

ChannelX says...

How many times have we read almost identical articles to the one above... only to read three months later that nobody's losing their job?

Do people not realise this stuff is just union press release propaganda?

The timing of this one's release wasn't exactly coincidental...
How many times have we read almost identical articles to the one above... only to read three months later that nobody's losing their job? Do people not realise this stuff is just union press release propaganda? The timing of this one's release wasn't exactly coincidental... ChannelX
  • Score: -1

11:32am Fri 23 May 14

Badgersgetabadname says...

house on the hill wrote:
Badgersgetabadname wrote:
Shocking really, who has decided that this was the best place to save £250k. Youths and anti social behavior is a major point in Wiltshire how is this going to make anything better?
I would imagine the councillors that everyone is telling us we should go out and vote for! That's the problem when people are elected rather than qualified to do the job!
As sad as it is that is probably true.
Youth needs stability and activity (as well as a host of other things) but without them boredom can turn into anti social behavior which turns into bigger problems again.
Lets hope they are not effected by these proposals and that by raising these issues early they will not lose their jobs and that the kids do not lose a vital service.
This is not the place to save £250K there are many other places to take it from.
[quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Badgersgetabadname[/bold] wrote: Shocking really, who has decided that this was the best place to save £250k. Youths and anti social behavior is a major point in Wiltshire how is this going to make anything better?[/p][/quote]I would imagine the councillors that everyone is telling us we should go out and vote for! That's the problem when people are elected rather than qualified to do the job![/p][/quote]As sad as it is that is probably true. Youth needs stability and activity (as well as a host of other things) but without them boredom can turn into anti social behavior which turns into bigger problems again. Lets hope they are not effected by these proposals and that by raising these issues early they will not lose their jobs and that the kids do not lose a vital service. This is not the place to save £250K there are many other places to take it from. Badgersgetabadname
  • Score: 0

12:54pm Fri 23 May 14

ManWithCar says...

Quote from the article:

"Leah Lock, 19, who regularly attends the Canberra Youth Centre in Melksham, said: “They haven’t listened to us at all."

19? Old enough to vote? Technically classed as a grown adult? Why isn't someone of 19 years of age trying to look for work or training rather than hang around a youth centre?
Quote from the article: "Leah Lock, 19, who regularly attends the Canberra Youth Centre in Melksham, said: “They haven’t listened to us at all." 19? Old enough to vote? Technically classed as a grown adult? Why isn't someone of 19 years of age trying to look for work or training rather than hang around a youth centre? ManWithCar
  • Score: 0

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