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News from Sian Berry: Saving youth services can reduce knife violence – but we face £7m cuts

27 June 2017

Youth services under siege are being offered a lifeline after the Mayor responded to Sian Berry’s call to help them and launched new funding for young people.

The Mayor today called for the Government to fill the gaps where austerity-driven council cuts have left young people without vital services.

Sian Berry has worked over the past year to show just how hard youth services have been hit by Government cuts and urged the Mayor to provide more money for young people in her report London’s Lost Youth Services.

Her research revealed:

  • Total youth service cuts across London between 2011/12 and 2016/17 are now more than £28 million – an average of 34 per cent
  • Councils plan to remove at least another £7.5 million from youth services in their upcoming 2017/18 budgets
  • At least 457 youth worker jobs have been lost since 2011 – a staffing cut of 48 per cent
  • 36 youth centres have closed across the city

Sian Berry said:

I’m glad the Mayor sees what my work over the last year so clearly highlighted – that the massive cuts to youth services have contributed to the rise in knife violence by stripping our young people of opportunities and safe places to simply hang out with their friends.

Government cuts have hit all London councils hard, and youth services have been put on the chopping block across our city – next year a further £7.5 million will be lost across London.

I have called on the Mayor to help in January when I released ‘London’s Lost Youth Services’ and I’m pleased money will now be available for young people and the excellent work of Red Thread will be expanded.

In London however we have still lost nearly 500 youth workers who have seen their jobs squeezed out and 36 youth centres have been closed – there is still more work to be done to bring back the services young people need.