Kent Green Party has started an online petition against the planned cuts to the Kent Youth Service that will see the closure of 24 youth centres, the loss of 64 jobs and a 60% cut in funding. Chair of Kent Green Party, Stuart Jeffery called the cuts 'ideological idiocy' as he announced the launch of the petition which is available at http://alturl.com/d8wuj
Kent County Council plans are going to their cabinet meeting on 18th July and show that they intend to take £1.7m out the the youth budget, leaving just £1.2m.
Stuart Jeffery, Chair of Kent Green Party: "Young people are being hit very hard by the recession, suffering the highest levels of unemployment, ridiculous rises in student fees and now they are seeing the youth service slashed and burned. What sort of message does this give to the next generation of leaders? I think it says that the Conservatives are profoundly uninterested in them.
"Youth services are vital to the well being of our communities, for providing guidance to young people and for giving them wider support. There are also 64 families who are facing misery and hardship due to the ideological idiocy of the Conservative and Lib Dem cuts to public sector funding. We believe this madness needs to be fought and this why we are asking the public to sign up to the petition.
"The country is not broke. National debt was proportionally higher for most of the last century and at its highest point the country even managed to start the NHS. The country's debt is proportionately lower than France and Canada and about the same as Germany, yet they are not getting hysterical about public spending. The Tory and Lib Dems claim that cuts are necessary is simply not true."
1. Kent County Council papers available at http://democracy.kent.gov.uk/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=3468&T=10
2. The full list of Youth Centre closures across Kent:
Ashford: XC Youth Centre, Sk8side Youth Centre
Canterbury: Whitstable Youth Centre
Dartford: The Bridge Youth Arts Centre
Dover: Linwood Youth Centre. Aylesham Youth Centre
Gravesham: Miracles Youth Centre, The Gr@nd
Maidstone: Shepway Youth Centre, Lenham Youth Centre
Sevenoaks: Edenbridge Community, Centre (opening 2012)
Shepway: Hythe Youth Centre
Folkestone: Youth Project
Swale: Sheerness County Youth Centre
Faversham: Youth Centre
Tonbridge & Malling: SAMAYS Youth Centre
Thanet: Concorde Youth Centre, Artwise Youth Centre
Tunbridge Wells: Mascalls Youth Centre
3. The country was in more debt for most of the 20th century than it is now including when it founded the NHS (Ref: False Economy)
4. The country has a lower debt to GDP ratio than France, Canada and almost the same as Germany (Ref: OECD - page 21)