Youth club to buck trend during cuts

A CONSULTATION into controversial plans to axe youth services across Derbyshire is set to be launched, but the future of one youth club is looking brighter.

Derbyshire County Council’s proposals to commission voluntary and community-sector groups to carry out youth-orientated work, rather than fund the youth service themselves, has been heavily criticised.

The move is part of a cost-cutting measure by the Tory-led council to save £100 million over the next five years, and council chiefs agreed to launch a ten-week consultation which will include the use of on-line questionnaires and discussion forums.

However, the youth club in Darley Dale is being relaunched after a new committee was assembled.

The weekly club, held at the Whitworth Centre, closed temporarily because of a lack of volunteers and what Darley Dale town councillors felt were health and safety issues triggered by a lack of supervision.

But after lengthy discussions between members of Darley Dale Town Council, they have been able to attract more people and are hoping to have the club reopened again in the coming weeks.

Mayor of Darley Dale, Cllr Ingrid Pasteur explained: “We have a new management committee in place and we’re hoping to have it up and running by the second week of January.

“We have moved fast on this because it has been extremely well used in the past, there was less vandalism in Whitworth Park and relations between the older youngsters and the police had improved.

“It was the fact that there was not enough people on the night and there was very little communication.

“There’s quite a lot of sport facilities in the town but there’s no other youth club, and it was always felt it was a good thing for the town, so the sooner we can get going the better.”

Cllr Pasteur said a drop-in bus, run by Derbyshire County Council’s youth service, had also been a regular visitor to the Whitworth Centre on an evening.

However, with the county council’s consultation to begin early next year, its future now also looks uncertain.

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