New figures from the YMCA show that Plymouth spends just £23.10 per young person on youth services. This is a cut of 89% from the funding provided by the last Labour Government in 2010. This leaves Plymouth ranked as number 136 out of 167 local authorities in England and Wales for spending on youth services, in the bottom third of the country.
By contrast, spending on youth services and positive activities for young people is 33% higher per head in Labour councils compared to Conservative-run councils.
Luke Pollard, Labour MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport said:
“Cuts have consequences. Our young people in Plymouth deserve better and that means properly funded services to give them opportunities, provide a safe place because home might not be, and to help them stay out of trouble. Nearly 90% of youth service funding has been slashed in a decade.
“It is time the Government stopped slashing services and started investing in our young people.”
Councillor Jemima Laing, Labour Councillor for Stoke Ward said:
“When you see the cut in funding in such stark terms it is really shocking. We have brilliant youth workers here in the city who are doing valuable detached and centre-based youth work with our city’s young people but what they can deliver is limited by resources.
“I have called right throughout the pandemic for young people to be at the heart of the city’s, and the country’s, recovery from COVID, significant, sustained investment in youth work would signal that the government is doing that.”
Labour has also outlined its plans for a ‘Jobs Promise’ that any young person away from work for six months will be offered a quality education, training or employment opportunity.