Teens Join Youth Workers Protest

23 August 2011, 14:53 | Updated: 23 August 2011, 15:12

Oxfordshire youth workers are protesting today in Banbury, over changes to how centres are run.

The Unite Union say 80 jobs are at risk under the new proposals, which include merging youth centres with other services and bringing in volunteers to run others.

19 year old Lucy Creed has been helped by the Oxford City Detached Youth Team for two years.

She told Heart it doesn't make sense.

"What I don't understand is why would you take away one of the only places that the youth can go and get off the streets, help get back into education and get yourself a job?"

Labour Oxford County Councillor Richard Stevens said:

"Oxfordshire County Council's proposals for cutting the youth service in Oxfordshire have been appallingly managed and we as local councillors have still not been told what services are going to remain on the ground.

"The withdrawal of youth services in this way is totally short-sighted. These cuts are a direct result of the Government cutting too hard and too fast, and of huge, frontloaded cuts to local authorities.

"David Cameron stood in Witney just over a week ago and said he cared about the future of our young people. If that's true, why isn't he helping to safeguard youth worker posts in his own backyard?''

Oxfordshire County Council have defended the changes:

"Oxfordshire County Council has worked very hard to make sure there is a continuing high level of youth provision across the county despite the £119 million of cuts that are having to be made.

"This level of provision will be supported by Oxfordshire communities who have successfully bid into the county council's Big Society fund for start up funding to to assist them in taking on youth provision themselves.

"These arrangements compare very favourably with other parts of the country where cuts are also having to be made."

Youth Workers from the Unite Union have told Heart they're prepared to strike again.