Funding crisis could see the closure of ALL council-run youth centres in Brent
- Credit: Archant
All council-run youth centres in Brent are facing the axe unless they are able to raise their own funds, the Times can reveal.
Roundwood Myspace Centre in Longstone Avenue, Harlesden, Poplar Grove in Wembley, Granville Plus in Kilburn, and Wembley Youth Centre in London Road, could close following a council decision to slash £1million in youth services.
The cuts, which were introduced in April, has left the town hall with just £400,000 to support all four centres and 300 youth providers that serve the thousands of young people in the borough.
Funding for Brent Youth Parliament will not be axed.
Next week the council will decide whether to hold a consultation involving young people as it looks to set up an independent organisation, Young Brent Foundation, which will have charitable status and be able to reach out for its own funding.
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Glynis Lee MBE, from Brent Play Association, was forced to close Stonebridge Adventure Playground, in Shakespeare Avenue, after 40 years serving disadvantaged children in the area.
She said: “They are trying to set up a charity limited by guarantee which is what the BPA did 10 years ago. It’s going down that same route with the idea that it will be able to raise funds. It isn’t true, especially at the moment where the competition for funding is quite intense.”
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If YBF is established, the council would pay a small team of qualified youth workers to work with community and voluntary sector who would share their skills and resources across the current 300 providers and the four youth centres.
Ms Lee added: “Brent Council are not really working with those kids that really need something. They’re working more with kids like the youth parliament, who are articulate, not kids off the street dealing in crack. That was originally what the youth service was all about.
“It was meant to work with those kids who are in danger of going down the wrong road. It’s obvious where that’s going to leave the community again; there’ll be nothing for young people.”
A spokesman for Brent Council said: “We would expect the YBF to support voluntary and community organisations who want to take on youth centres to actively bid for funds