Youth services in Rugby come under scrutiny at public meeting in the town

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BOROUGH councillors are holding a special public meeting to examine the potential impact in the borough of reduced budgets for youth services, and to find out what plans are in place to ensure ongoing provision.

Rugby Borough Council’s Customer and Partnerships Committee is meeting at 5.30pm on October 13 at the Lawrence Sheriff School to hear from partners and interested parties about how they are working together to respond to the financial challenges facing services for young people.

Youth services across the borough are facing budget reductions. In March of this year Warwickshire County Council announced that it needed to reduce the amount of funding available to Youth Services in Warwickshire by £3.5 million and launched a consultation on the future of youth service premises, including those in Rugby. Since then local partners have been working together to put in place new arrangements, and the Committee wants to find out the latest position and identify any gaps in provision or other concerns that need to be addressed.

The committee is keen to involve a wide range of people in this meeting in order to gain a full understanding of the issues and make robust, evidence-based recommendations for action that could be taken to address the concerns raised. Representatives from Warwickshire County Council, the Borough Council, Rugby Youth Council and the voluntary and community sector have all been invited to address the meeting.

Customer and Partnerships Committee Chairman, Councillor Claire Edwards, said: “There has been a lot of concern locally about the impact of cuts to budgets for youth services and we know that much is already being done to address these challenges. As a Committee we wanted to bring together the key players to find out what they’re doing, and identify any further action needed.

“We are really keen to hear from people affected by the reduced budgets for youth services and to find out more about the positive work that is being done within the local community to fill the gaps. We particularly want to find out about the priorities, expectations and needs of young people in Rugby and to reflect the range of different activities available for them.”

Anyone with an interest in this issue is invited to feed in their views and comments to the Committee, by writing to the Democratic and Scrutiny Services team at the Town Hall or emailing scrutiny@rugby.gov.uk.