Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/16419
Youth project in Wirral faces closure after vote by Labour council
Interview with an anti-cuts campaigner from Wirral Youth Theatre
On 5 March Wirral council voted through £42 million worth of cuts as part of £109 million projected cuts over three years.
These cuts will significantly reduce staff numbers and terms and conditions, and will devastate a range of services across the borough.
They are being carried out by a Labour council - not one Labour councillor voted against the cuts.
At the lobby of the council on 5 March, Lauren, 20, from one of the services affected, Wirral Youth Theatre, spoke passionately against the cuts. A Socialist Party member spoke to her later:
What is Wirral Youth Theatre?
We cover a range of arts, dance, drama, music, media, etc, and are an inclusive group, open to all young people from age 13 years, including able bodied and those with a physical or learning disability.
We provide peer education and support building social and communication skills; we work with many young people who are anxious, timid and lacking in confidence and transform their confidence to enable them to play a full role in the community.
We also provide valuable educational theatre, tackling issues such as drugs, domestic violence, and discrimination, taking these issues to other young people in schools.
What will the cuts mean to Wirral Youth Theatre?
The project will face closure, which leaves me angry and frustrated. It's not just about the short term impact on those young people currently involved, but the longer term impact.
Politicians talk about kids causing trouble on street corners, but this is a project that directs passions into something positive; we need to save Wirral Youth Theatre.
It can make a big difference for an individual's sense of self-worth and have a positive impact upon the wider community. They are not looking at the bigger picture.
How do these cuts make you feel?
Angry - I'm passionate about building a better world. I'm frustrated by the councillors, we're fighting these cuts and they should be fighting on our behalf. But they offer nothing.
These Labour councillors are not representing ordinary people; we need councillors who will stand up and fight for our communities. We need to stand together to defeat these cuts.
Does politics interest young people?
Politics affects every aspect of our lives, and young people need to be more involved in politics. We're made to feel that our voice is not important, that we have no real role, but we have a lot to say and a big contribution to make.
When we speak up it's portrayed that we are being aggressive; I'm not being aggressive, I'm being assertive. Young people can make a real difference
This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 28 March 2013 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.