Government blamed for fall in Newham youth service spending

Funding for Newham youth services has been cut by 17 per cent in the last two years.

Spending has plummeted to �4.2million this financial year from �5.8million as recently as 2010/2011.

Youth workers have also borne the brunt of the cuts. Full-time youth service employee posts have dropped from 68 to 50 in the same period.

Newham Council said the reduction was necessary because of the withdrawal of central government grants.

“As a result of these government cuts, we have had to make tough decisions and look at what savings can be made,” a spokesman said.

“One way we have done this is by reducing the number of senior staff.”

The figures look unfortunate at a time when the borough’s youngsters are meant to have been inspired by the Olympics to get involved in community activities.

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Youth worker Damien Plummer, who runs a breakfast club at the Froud Community Centre in Manor Park, said now was the perfect time to attract youngsters to youth facilities.

He said: “If you want to inspire a generation there needs to be a lot more accessibility.

“We have got all these new centres coming in but they need to be available to all.

“When you look at the Olympic Park venues opening in a year’s time, they need to be a lot more attractive in terms of cost.

“We want to give young people a taste of all the Olympic sports they watched.”

Newham Council said at least one key youth centre is available in each of its nine community areas. They offer open access, evening and holiday provision.

The spokesman added: “We are also continuing to provide additional support services to those young people who need extra help to make a smooth progression from adolescence to adulthood.”