A COUNCIL has been forced to step in to save youth services across a borough again.
Fareham Borough Council has committed to maintaining the services this year by pledging £24,405 of funding for six youth centres.
It is important to us that young people also have access to groups that offer support in a fun and relaxed environmentCouncillor Sue Bell
The council had to step in last year to provide £30,000 a year worth of funding for the four services due to cuts of £98m by Hampshire County Council.
With the county council not coughing up the funds this year, the borough council has had to dip in to its Youth Activities Fund to allow the services to continue.
Councillor Sue Bell, executive member for leisure and community on the council said: ‘The council already provides a wide range of free activities and facilities for young people to enjoy including skate parks, open spaces, SNAP disco and summer events such as access all areas.
‘However, it is important to us that young people also have access to groups that offer support in a fun and relaxed environment.
‘They need somewhere safe to meet friends and to just talk about things that might be bothering them. The youth workers do a great job in helping the younger generation to grow and develop.’
The youth centres saved are Titchfield’s Oasis Youth Centre, Fareham’s X-Perience Youth Centre, Broadlaw Youth Project and Fareham North West Youth Club, Locks Heath’s Genesis Centre and Portchester’s Odyssey Youth Centre.
Councillor Roger Price, leader of Fareham Liberal Democrats said: ‘I am very pleased that the council has reached out to support these groups across the borough.
‘However, it is the county council’s responsibility for children services and it is its lack of funding that is leading the borough council to have to step in.’
Cllr Price, who sits on both the borough and county council, added: ‘The county council has the worst record for funding children’s services.
‘These services are absolutely vital for our young people across the borough but the funding for them should never have come to us. It is true that county put it at the bottom when it comes to looking at services.’
The borough council set up the Youth Activities Fund for services last April.