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From The Socialist newspaper, 1 February 2012

Save Derbyshire youth services!

Becci Heagney

On the afternoon of Monday 30 January over 100 people held a rally and march in Chesterfield before the first consultation meeting into the future of youth services in Derbyshire. Young people from Eckington youth club had collected petition signatures to defend the services.

Derbyshire county council is proposing the closure of 29 youth centres and the sacking of 157 youth workers. The Tory-controlled council justifies this attack on the basis that, according to their figures, only 28% of 13-19 year olds use them regularly.

The leader of the council, Andrew Lewer, says that the youth service is therefore too expensive to run. What is really behind these proposals is the desire to have these vital services run by volunteers as opposed to full-time paid staff.

Gregory Roberts, one of the young people that helped organise the rally, said: "I don't think they see behind the scenes what the youth workers do for us. They don't see it as a valuable thing that they are doing. I think there are other ways of making money other than cutting these services.

"They've obviously held this meeting at a time when people are at work to stop them from coming to it. But it's still clear the support that we've got."

Consultation meeting

After the march, over 200 people attempted to get into the consultation meeting but were refused entry at first, being told that they should have registered beforehand. Eventually, the meeting was moved into a bigger room to accommodate everyone.

The council's 'consultation' is in reality forcing ordinary people who are desperately trying to save the services they rely on to tell the council what other service should be cut instead.

Young people and their supporters in Derbyshire are determined to carry on fighting to defend youth services and jobs in the county, but the only way to secure victory is to unite service users and workers to say no to all cuts.

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In The Socialist 1 February 2012:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Bankers bonus scandal - Fight this profit-mad system

Trade unionists and socialists prepare for May elections

What is the point of Labour MPs?

Dead end in Davos

Them & Us


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Don't let the racist EDL divide us

Disabled protesters demand scrapping of 'welfare' bill

Haringey takes action against academies

Coventry: Re-elect Dave Nellist


Socialist Party youth and students

NUS: name the day for student walkout

Save Derbyshire youth services!

Only one in six 'vacancies' real

Tough conditions for agency workers

South East Wales youth plan new campaigns


International socialist news and analysis

EU summit - no capitalist solutions to the spiralling eurozone crisis

Interview: the Tunisian revolution one year on


Socialist Party workplace news

Pensions battle: Unions must campaign for coordinated strike action in March

London Docklands transport workers win Olympics deal

Unison pensions cowardice

Remploy workers fight privatisation

Jet tanker drivers continue strike action

Workplace news in brief


The Socialist - readers' comments

Debate: Should socialists support the HS2 rail line?

Are the Greens a real alternative?

Smacking not the answer

Obituary: Gwenda Beishon


 

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