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Issue 340 – Axe to fall on Frome Youth Centre?

FROME Youth Centre could be facing the axe unless a professional organisation comes forward to take it over.

Youth work carried out directly by Somerset County Council will cease next year and other local organisations will be paid or supported to take over. Should no organisation come forward, this will leave Frome without its youth and community centre in Vallis Road .
Somerset County Council say that this is the next stage following their decision in February to reduce the youth service’s budget by 75 per cent over three years to meet Government funding cuts.
Mayor of Frome, cllr Nick White said, “To lose the youth centre would be horrendous. This is truly shocking news. If anything I would want to see more provision of youth services in the town, with more sessions run at the youth centre.
“Funds are short across the country, but I would have hoped Somerset County Council would maintain the youth service and then we could try to plug the gaps with volunteers.
“My personal opinion is this should be resisted as much as possible and convince the county council to rethink their stance on this.”
Cllr Helen Sprawson-White commented, “One of the youth workers mentioned they would be losing their job in March. This is not just about the youth centre, but the provision of the youth service as a whole.
“It provides support for young people as well as supporting projects such as the youth café and keeping youths off the streets. It is incredibly short-sighted to take this away.
“My concern with outsourcing the service is that the people who take over may not make the same level of commitment that is there at the moment. They may not have the general understanding of what provision Frome needs.
“I would hope that should no organisation come forward, Somerset County Council will rethink their decision rather than closing it all down altogether.”
Somerset County Council says of its decision to make cuts, “This is in line with the approach advocated by the Government which believes that community, voluntary and private sector organisations are better suited to providing it than councils.”

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