WE are now about half way through the consultation by Derbyshire County Council regarding the proposed changes to the provision of youth services within Derbyshire.
We have heard about the need to cut 28% from the budget which means savings of in the region of £800,000 need to be found by the Youth Services.
Their proposed way of meeting these reductions is a withdrawal of youth workers with the expectation that voluntary organisations will step in and a closure of youth centres.
Whilst I agree with the need for councils to look at their budgets, the way the closure of youth centres is being looked at is short sighted and blinkered.
Hasland youth centre is a space which is used by the community to a large extent.
There are two Rainbows groups, two Brownie packs, a Guide pack as well as Beavers, Cubs and Scouts.
Due to the focus of the review being youth services, the people who use the facilities who are under the age of 13 are being excluded from the consultation process, even though they are significant users of the youth centre especially in Hasland.
If the youth centre in Hasland were to close, the groups that currently meet on the premises would have to find alternative accommodation. If this cannot be found then these groups would cease to meet.
Our children and young people benefit in many ways from being part of Scouting and Guiding.
They learn about teamwork, are involved in the community, form friendships that last a lifetime, develop skills in leadership and much more.
The closure of the centre in Hasland may well mean that the opportunities to work and develop our children and young people are lost.
I would call on anyone in Hasland who has benefited from the work of the uniformed organisations or any other group that meets at the youth centre to sign the petition and complete the consultation document to show that Hasland youth centre is a community centre and ought to be kept as such.
Unit helper 2nd Hasland Rainbows