London Mayor to invest in youth services
JANUARY 21, 2019
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced plans to invest £45m in youth services over the next three years in a bid to divert young people in London away from crime.
With youth centres, outreach and after-school activities not a statutory function of local councils, cuts have fallen hard on these services and news of additional funding is always welcomed.
The funding will come from Khan's Young Londoners Fund and acknowledges the important contribution that youth services make to building positive lives for young people. It also represents the largest single investment in youth services in recent years outside the government's flagship National Citizen Service.
Sian Berry’s report, “London’s lost youth services: The dramatic disappearance of support and facilities for young people in London” revealed that the steep cuts to local youth services had seen spending on youth services in London had fallen by £22m, resulting in the closure of 30 youth centres, and the loss of around 12,700 places for young people since 2011.
With councils finding it hard to maintain even the statutory services they have a legal duty to provide, the Mayor should be congratulated that he has found a way to mitigate some of the damage that continues to be inflicted on youth services across the capital.