Lib Dems to double spending on youth services in Surrey to £34 million

November 13, 2019 6:00 AM
By Cllr Will Forster


The Lib Dems have announced they would more than double spending on youth services in Surrey to £33,998,703,to help tackle rising levels of crime. This would form part of a total ring-fenced fund of £500 million for Local Authorities across England to spend on youth services, providing young people with positive, safe and healthy alternatives to gangs.


Under the Conservatives, Council spending on youth services has been cut by £300 million - or 40 per cent - since 2015. Knife crime has risen by 80% over the same period, with a record high of 47,500 offences recorded in the year to June 2019. Research has also found the areas with the biggest cuts to youth services have seen some of the biggest increases in knife crime.


The Lib Dems would also take a public health approach to tackling youth violence, modelled on the successful approach taken by Scotland's Violence Reduction Unit. This would involve identifying risk factors and treating them early on, with youth workers, police, teachers, health professionals and social services all working closely together to prevent young people falling into gangs and violence.

Lib Dem County Councillor and Parliamentary Candidate for Woking, Will Forster, said:


"Too many people in Woking feel unsafe walking down their own streets. But for years, Tory and Labour Governments have been competing to seem tough on crime, without doing enough to actually prevent it."


"Locally, the Conservatives running Surrey County Council have let Woking's main youth centre, Lakers, be closed for almost 2 years after a fire. They haven't repaired it, they have just abandoned the building and stopped giving young people somewhere safe to go."


"The Lib Dems will build a brighter future for young people by doubling spending on youth services to almost £34 million a year in Surrey. This would ensure that the Lakers Youth Centre can be repaired and reopen, and enable all of Woking's young people to have access to youth services."


"With a Lib Dem Government, young people will have the support and opportunities they deserve, our local communities will be stronger and people here will feel safer."