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Camden New Journal - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published: 14 August 2008
Cuts hitting our youth

• COUNCILLOR Keith Moffitt claims that he takes youth funding in Camden seriously (Letters, August 7).
I am not sure whether he is unaware of the situation in certain parts of the borough for funding activities for young people or there is a touch of the economicals with the truth.
In the Gospel Oak and Caversham areas the council has turned down a request for a grant for universal youth work (provision of general activities) to Queen’s Crescent Community Centre for two years running, cut the grant to the Castlehaven centre by 50 per cent this year and closed the Jubilee centre.
The much-publicised youth council almost resigned en bloc because the council tried to stop them spending their budget, guess what, on youth work and education.
One of his Haverstock ward councillors is advocating increased police patrols in her area to prevent “youth disorder”.
Surely it would be better to provide activities for young people which are aimed at preventing youth disorder in the first place.
The allocation process this year for general youth work funding did not involve consultation with local ward councillors, the police or local residents. Nor did it take into account deprivation factors of wards.
Overall we now know that the council had a surplus of
£10 million last year and chose only to use £600,000 extra on youth work.
We have invited the former youth work councillor supremo many times to visit our area to see for himself what needed to be done and was being done with young people; alas he was too busy.
I would not describe the above examples as taking youth funding seriously or a commitment “to providing the best services and support to our young people “ in some of the most deprived wards in Camden.
Rather than claim and counter claim on how “serious” the Liberal Democrats are taking youth work funding would it not be more productive for senior councillors to get round a table with local people to discuss a strategy for funding general youth work and a system of allocation which takes into account local need.
Oak Village, NW5

Send your letters to: The Letters Editor, Camden New Journal, 40 Camden Road, London, NW1 9DR or email to The deadline for letters is midday Tuesday. The editor regrets that anonymous letters cannot be published, although names and addresses can be withheld. Please include a full name, postal address and telephone number. Letters may be edited for reasons of space.

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