Gwynedd Council has warned that changes to youth services will be inevitable because of budget cuts.
It follows the launch of a public consultation into plans to replace 42 community-based youth clubs with a single county-wide club in an effort to save around £270,000.
A report discussed last month said the move would have a ‘negative impact’ on young people, but that it could be mitigated despite the current service not being considered ”an option for the future”.
Under the plans, a single youth club for 11-19 year olds would be provided with youth workers attached to every secondary school.
The service for 16-25 year olds would focus on providing personal support for self-development, training, preparing for work and building a career. Third party organisations would also provide support for specific needs.
Councillor Craig ab Iago, the cabinet member for the Youth Service, said: ”There are three main things that have driven this work – the changing expectations amongst younger people; less money available to the Council; and changes to Government policy in terms of what provisions are needed by young people.”
”I accept that any form of change is difficult, but we cannot continue to do the same thing year in year out if the service does not meet the needs of young people…this is why change is inevitable and we would encourage everybody who has an interest in this area – young people, their families, people who deal with youth organisations and others – to have their say in the consultation.”
Last winter, nearly 800 people took part in a consultation on future needs and priorities for youth services and young people in Gwynedd.
The council says it currently costs over £995,000 a year to support 39 traditional community clubs in Gwynedd and provide annual grants to key organisations such as Urdd Gobaith Cymru, the Guides and Scouts and the young farmers clubs in Eryri and Meirionydd.
The latest consultation runs until Friday 22nd December. Survey questionnaires are available via the Council’s website or from every Siop Gwynedd and library in the county.