Waiting game over youth club’s future

NILABE120229g2, Rallying against youth cuts outside Ilkeston school.
NILABE120229g2, Rallying against youth cuts outside Ilkeston school.

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save Ilkeston’s Cantelupe Centre Youth Club made a last ditch attempt to convince Derbyshire County Council not to cut its funding.

Members of the club and youth workers held a pants protest outside the Ormiston Ilkeston Academy on Wednesday as people arrived for a council consultation on the future of youth services.

Liz Potter, one of the campaigners, said: “We had a lot of support from people passing by.

“These cuts are criminal, they will leave these young people without a service they rely on and love.

“If Cllr Barry Lewis can’t see that then there’s something wrong.”

People packed out the school hall to hear about the plans for the future of the service.

Youth worker at the Cantelupe Centre, Jack Smithurst said: “The meeting went ok. It was the last consultation before the announcement is made so we have a nervous wait now.

“The young people are obviously anxious about the outcome but all we can really do now is wait.

“I wouldn’t like to say which way it’s going to go.”

Councillor Barry Lewis, Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for young people, said: “We’re proposing to deliver youth activities differently to improve quality and make them more cost-effective so young people get the services they want and need, when they need them.

“I recognise there are some good and suitable youth services currently available and we’ve noted these as part of our on-going consultation – as any listening consultation would.

“But by proposing these changes we hope to improve what young people are offered across the board, which is surely what they deserve. There’s no reason why we cannot deliver a better quality service – and savings – if we plan what we offer and how it is delivered.”