Assembly Member, Sian Berry, outside of the Grove Park Youth Centre

News from Sian Berry: Mayor heeds Sian Berry’s call for investment in youth services

13 February 2018

London Assembly Member, Sian Berry, has welcomed news that the Mayor of London will invest in youth services, following her call for a new fund in last month’s budget meeting.

Today’s proposals mirror the budget amendment proposed by Sian last month.[1]

Sian has worked to track the cuts to youth services, caused by squeezed local government budgets.

Last month she revealed that the total amount lost from councils’ youth services that would have been spent in the last seven years, if budgets had stayed at 2011-12 levels, is now £100 million. [2]

Sian Berry says:

Today’s announcement is amazing news and shows how much higher young Londoners now are in the Mayor’s priorities. For years, young Londoners have seen youth clubs disappear and fewer youth workers be available to them.

I have been urging the Mayor for over a year to recognise that these cuts have been having a devastating effect on young Londoners’ futures and their ability to flourish. Hopefully this fund will start to repair some of the damage that youth services across London have suffered.

I am very pleased that the Mayor’s new Young Londoners Fund follows so closely what I have been campaigning for. It is rightly focused on local communities and charities who directly support young people and understand their needs.

Sian’s report ‘Youth service cuts in London – what next?’ published in March 2017, found:

  •  Total youth service cuts across London’s councils between 2011/12 and 2017/18 are £36 million – an average of a 34 per cent cut
  • 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

Notes to editors

Editors’ notes:

[1] Budget amendment proposed during 22 January Assembly meeting:  

[2] Latest figures from councils who have responded to requests for information on their 2018-19 budgets show that, on top of £36 million cut from budgets across London since 2011-12, a further £1 million is due to be cut from youth services in the coming year.

Sian Berry’s next report into youth service funding in London will be published in March 2018.

[3] In her 2017 reports, ‘London’s lost youth services’ and ‘Youth services in London – what next?’ Sian Berry revealed that more than 450 youth workers and 30 youth clubs have been lost from the sector between 2011/12 and 2016/17, along with up to £36 million per year in funding. The Mayor referenced Sian’s influential report when he called on the Government to save London’s youth services and recognised that youth violence has to be treated as a public health issue. ‘London’s lost youth services’, Sian Berry AM, Jan 2017  ‘Youth Services in London – what next?’, Sian Berry, Mar 2017

Sian Berry was elected as a Green member of the London Assembly in May 2016. She has been a councillor for Highgate ward in Camden since 2014.