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Sammy says "Invest in Hemel's youth services"

December 2, 2019 9:09 AM

Sammy BarryLib Dems to double spending on youth services in Hertfordshire to £39,722,041

The Liberal Democrats have announced they would more than double spending on youth services in Hertfordshire to £39,722,041, to help tackle rising levels of crime and offer more positive opportunities for young people. 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 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 Liberal Democrats 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.

Sammy Barry, Liberal Democrat candidate for Hemel Hempstead commented:

"Hemel Hempstead is one of the areas of the country where local authority youth services still exist. With society's ever changing needs, youth workers have a wider and more important role than ever in the care and development of our young people. It is widely recognised that qualified youth workers and quality support staff have a really positive impact on their lives.

"Extra funding would mean that more staff within Hertfordshire and Hemel Hempstead would have the resources that they need to reach more young people. This includes the correct training and qualifications needed to understand and engage with the complex and ever changing needs of young people.

"Youth workers are the first point of contact for so many young people going through difficult times, so it is important that we have more of these trained individuals to be accessible for young people across Hemel Hempstead, and the surrounding rural areas.

"Liberal Democrats will build a brighter future for young people by doubling spending on youth services to £39,722,041 a year in Hertfordshire

"With a Liberal Democrat government, young people will have the support and opportunities they deserve, our local communities will be stronger and people here will feel safer."