Youth plans are slammed

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A PUBLIC consultation has revealed fierce opposition to controversial council plans to axe scores of youth clubs.

Results of the Derbyshire County Council questionnaire, which attracted more than 3,800 views, show just over three quarters of respondents do not welcome the radical cost-cutting proposals.

Protesters have called on council chiefs to rethink their plans – and the authority stressed it was listening to people’s views.

Derbyshire County Council is planning to close 29 youth clubs, leaving nearly 160 support workers jobless.

The authority is proposing to give cash to voluntary and community groups so they can provide activities for youngsters, instead.

The consultation results reveal 76 per cent of respondents thought youth club closures were a “bad” or “very bad” idea.

Just 8.5 per cent of the responses were in favour of the plans.

Anne Western, leader of the Labour group at Derbyshire County Council, said: “These figures speak for themselves.

“The council really needs to take stock of people’s views and rethink these proposals.”

A council spokesman said: “We have carried out extensive consultation over the future of youth services in Derbyshire.

“We did that so that we could get a clear picture of what local people want.

“We are listening to those views and drawing up new plans for youth activities in Derbyshire.

“Our aim is to make sure that across Derbyshire there are activities that young people want, where they want them and when they want them,” the spokesman added.

The plans will be considered by Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet members shortly.

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