Youth group’s last ditch attempt to save cuts

Ryan Humpage, 16 (left) and Jacob Lister, 14, protesting outside The Oracle about Blackpool Council's cuts to youth services
Ryan Humpage, 16 (left) and Jacob Lister, 14, protesting outside The Oracle about Blackpool Council's cuts to youth services
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YOUNG people were today making a last ditch attempt to save the axe falling on youth services.

The resort’s town hall leaders were due to meet at 11am to set a budget expected to cut services in Blackpool in a bid to save £600,000.

But campaigner Ryan Humpage thinks youth services are well worth fighting for, and planned for a group of young people to gather at the Town Hall in protest.

Ryan, 16, who goes to The Oracle youth club in South Shore, said: “Services like these help keep young people out of trouble.

“I think the council should think about these cuts more before they make them.”

The council has pulled together a £250,000 pot of money for young people’s organisations to apply for.

But Ryan, a pupil at Montgomery High School, added: “Quite a lot of people will be applying for this funding.

“There are going to be lots of people who will miss out”.

Other members of the youth club say they hope the councillors are listening to their views.

Nathan Hinks, 16, of Bean Avenue, South Shore, said: “I have learnt DJ-ing skills here.

“I would be sat at home bored if it wasn’t here.”

Jacob Lister, 14, of Marsden Road, South Shore, said: “I help as a volunteer here so it has given me responsibility.

“I don’t want the council to cut the funding.”

Coun Chris Maughan, Blackpool cabinet member for young people, welcomed the young people’s thoughts.

He said: “I understand greatly that young people are willing to shout about what they want and care about.

“I just hope their message is directed towards the Government as it is directing the cuts the council has to make.

“It’s not an ideal situation but we could have done what other councils have done and cut youth services entirely.

“A number of community groups are going to benefit massively from this cash and we believe they would be better off with it.

“These groups seem excited at the opportunity to get money for the services they need.”

A Blackpool Council spokesman said the level of provision at The Oracle, should the cuts be approved today, remained under review, but added there would still be a youth service at the St Annes Road venue.