John Whitehouse

Retired County Councillor for Kenilworth Abbey Division Learn more

FIGHTING TO SAVE KENILWORTH YOUTH CENTRE

by John Whitehouse on 9 January, 2011

John Whitehouse with Ann Blacklock outside Kenilworth Youth & Community CentreAs chair of the management committee of the Kenilworth Youth & Community Centre, I am leading the local campaign to save the Centre in the face of massive budget cuts threatened by Warwickshire’s Conservative administration. The proposed cuts would remove ALL county funding from the Centre within 2-3 years.

Can the Centre survive as an independent entity? We don’t know yet, but the management committee are working hard on a new business plan, and looking at all options such as charitable status and social enterprise models.

What is clear is the strong support for the Centre across all sections of the Kenilworth community, young and old. The work it does for young people is fantastic, and has made a major contribution over recent years to providing positive outlets for young people and reducing the incidence of anti-social behaviour in the town. The local police inspector and sergeant have been fulsome in their praise for what we do. But also, many other┬ácommunity groups use the Centre on a regular basis – up to 800 users in a typical termtime week.

If budget cuts are inevitable, we need TIME to make the necessary changes and to develop alternative sources of funding. We also need to secure some ongoing level of county funding, even a reduced amount, to ensure that high-quality youth work is continued in our town.

We are therefore asking everyone to sign a county-wide petition, asking the County Council to withdraw its current plan. If enough signatures (5,000) are obtained by the end of January, this will force a full debate on the issue at the Council BEFORE any budget decisions are taken.

The electronic version of the petition is at:

http://democratic.warwickshire.gov.uk/cmis5/EPetitions/tabid/90/ID/20/Withdraw-proposal-to-cease-the-whole-of-the-Youth-Service-in-Warwickshire.aspx

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