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Community could help save youth centre near Lichfield from the axe

A youth centre near Lichfield threatened with the axe could be given a reprieve thanks to support from the local community.

Whittington Youth Centre had been among a number across Staffordshire earmarked for closure.

But a review of the decision was ordered by Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture Ben Adams.

And as a result, Whittington is among five centres asked to draw up a plan to potentially increase usage of its facilties or cut costs significantly.

Ben Adams

Ben Adams

Cllr Adams has written to the centre to outline the options and call on the local community to get involved. He said:

“It was clear to me that some of the centres designated for closure prior to last year’s county council elections were actually providing a worthwhile service for young people so I put the closure programme on hold.

“Following a detailed review, I think we can continue to provide positive activities for young people in these areas but we will need the support of local community groups to make the centres affordable.  Managers from Staffordshire Young People’s Service will be meeting with local organisations, parish and town councils and the young people themselves to explore opportunities for increasing membership, sharing running costs or moving to different, more cost effective premises.

“I am determined to spend the limited budget that the county council has for positive activities for young people on enjoyable and challenging programmes, and not on maintaining unsuitable buildings.  We can still provide an excellent service and with local support I am hopeful many of these places will benefit from improved local youth clubs.”

Community groups who are interested in becoming involved in their local youth centre can email youth@staffordshire.gov.uk.

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