Debate issue properly before dismantling

The future of Derbyshire’s Youth Service is to be debated at a meeting of the county council on April 18 (DT, 15/03/12) and a cabinet meeting will also discuss it in May.

Good. Because, as Amber Valley Council (also Conservative-controlled) has said, it seems silly to cut back drastically on the youth service when young people are suffering widespread unemployment.

We do not wish to stoke up anti-social behaviour, do we?

Even more to the point, we positively wish young people to have opportunities as good as we older people enjoyed in our time.

But yes, there is a problem: if something has to be cut from the budget – and that may be so – then we all want renewed road-surfaces, we want our older people to be cared for adequately, we want schools to be really good etc.

It may just be that the youth service can be improved, and it may be that more volunteer workers can be found.

But please, let the nature of the need be explored and made known before the present service is dismantled.

Talk to some people, whether old or young, and they do not know that there is a youth service. If the youth centres are used by only 28% of the age-group, why is that?

And how does it happen that Chesterfield, with its substantial population, appears to have only two centres when other boroughs have more?