CYWU/Unite Wolverhampton Branch has launched a campaign to urge the Wolverhampton City Council to reject proposals to cut the funding of the Youth Service by almost a quarter.Wolverhampton has traditionally been proud of a well-resourced, professional service to young people in the city for some twenty years. This level of budget reduction will severely impact on front line delivery of a key service to young people in the City. Youth Workers were told quite clearly in a briefing this week, that the budget reduction would result in the deletion of 26 posts. With 7 vacant posts, this will mean 19 full time equivalent redundancies will have to be made. This represents almost half the full time workforce of the service, many of who have been loyal employees of a stable service in Wolverhampton with significant length of service. Clearly, Youth Units will be forced to close but details have not yet been made public.
CYWU/Unite are asking young people and their parents to send a message to Councillor Neville Patten, Leader of the Council as well as to their Local Councillor supporting the campaign to Save the Youth Service. Postcards will be available from the Union if they wish to do so.
Government targets detailed in Transforming Youth Work were for a spend per head of £100 in 2003. With inflation increases, Wolverhampton are meeting Government targets. CYWU/Unite claims the service should not be unfairly penalised for doing so. Those statistical neighbours who are failing to invest in young people to this level have been criticised. Wolverhampton Branch Chair Marie Taylor, who has worked for Wolverhampton since 1988 stated "Youth Workers are really angry at these unjust proposals. Recommending a cut in expenditure for these reasons represents a dive down to the lowest common denominator and should not be a basis for determining quality and resources of services in Wolverhampton".
CYWU/Unite is concerned that the proposed cuts will leave the City Council in a position where it will be unable to deliver it's statutory requirements as detailed in the Education Inspections Act 2006.
CYWU/Unite believes the Youth Service has been unfairly singled out to bear the brunt of savings. Inspections of the Youth Service - JAR, CPA and Ofsted, as well as an internally commissioned inspection of the service have been favourable and the service was considered value for money. The proposed cuts are proportionately higher for the Youth Service than any other department. No other service is facing proposals to reduce it's budget by almost a quarter and to reduce full time staffing levels by almost half and the union is committed to fighting these proposals.
Issued by: Wolverhampton CYWU/Unite