Burnley MP’s outrage at cuts to youth services

Gordon Birtwistle, Liberal Democrats.'Photo Ben Parsons'19-04-10
Gordon Birtwistle, Liberal Democrats.'Photo Ben Parsons'19-04-10

BURNLEY MP Gordon Birtwistle has slammed Lancashire County Council’s controversial cuts to youth services.

The Express has reported that a number of services in Burnley are being slashed as part of cost-cutting measures.

Four evenings and one daytime session will be lost from Gannow Youth Centre, five evenings will be withdrawn from Burnley Boys’ Club, one daytime session from Brunshaw Youth Club, and the opening hours of Burnley Infocentre halved.

But Mr Birtwistle said: “It is disgusting young people’s services are facing closure at the hands of Conservative-controlled Lancashire County Council. Almost as bad are the crocodile tears from the Labour Party which failed to put forward any alternative to the Conservative service-slashing budget.”

“The Lib-Dem group at County Hall demonstrated that it was possible to increase funding and services to young people. The Liberal Democrats proposed an extra £1.3m. per year from 2011/2 to extend the target age range of the Young People’s Service to 11 to 19s, plus an additional £500,000 a year until 2013 to fund teenage pregnancy services.”

The Lib-Dem leader of Burnley Council, Coun. Charlie Briggs, and a member of the county council, backed the MP.

He said: “We voted against these cuts when the county’s Conservative leaders proposed them and we will campaign against unnecessary closures in Burnley. These cuts, like the cuts in help for older people, are unnecessary and show the county council and its Tory masters have the wrong priorities – wrong for Burnley and wrong for Lancashire.”

Burnley’s ruling Lib-Dems group will be asking the next meeting of the full council to campaign against the cuts.

Coun. Neil Mottershead, Burnley’s Executive member for community safety, said: “These places for young people are an important part of the community keeping our children safe and off the streets.”