Coun­cil­lors to re­view clo­sure of youth clubs

Caernarfon Herald - - NEWS -

ACONTROVERSIAL de­ci­sion to shut all Gwynedd’s youth clubs in a cash sav­ing mea­sure is to be re­vis­ited by coun­cil­lors this week.

Gwynedd Coun­cil’s cabi­net has de­cided to cut fund­ing to Young Farm­ers and shut all 39 of its youth clubs in a bid to save £270,000.

But while the orig­i­nal de­ci­sion in March was made by the au­thor­ity’s 11 Plaid Cymru cabi­net mem­bers, all 75 county coun­cil­lors will now be given a chance to have their say.

Op­po­si­tion Llais Gwynedd coun­cil­lor, Al­wyn Gruffydd, has pro­posed a mo­tion that will be dis­cussed by the full coun­cil on Thurs­day, urg­ing a re­think.

The mem­ber for Tre­madog said: “This de­ci­sion has the po­ten­tial to im­pact so many that it’s only right all mem­bers are given a chance to have their say. The de­ci­sion has been de­bated by the scru­tiny com­mit­tee and cabi­net, but any­one who doesn’t sit on ei­ther hasn’t had their say.”

Cllr Gruffydd’s mo­tion calls for the cabi­net to “re-con­sider” the fu­ture of the county’s youth ser­vice with “a pre­sump­tion in favour of re­tain­ing youth clubs and con­tin­u­ing with the fi­nan­cial sup­port given to vol­un­tary or­gan­i­sa­tions like the Urdd and Fed­er­a­tion of Young Farm­ers.”

The au­thor­ity plans to re­place its 39 ex­ist­ing clubs with a county wide of­fer­ing, but has al­ready pledged to of­fer ad­min­is­tra­tive sup­port to any com­mu­ni­ties that wish to con­tinue op­er­at­ing a club on a lo­cal level.

Propos­ing the clo­sure plans, cabi­net mem­ber Craig ab Iago said the change was “dif­fi­cult” but nec­es­sary.

He said: “We can’t con­tinue to do the same thing year in year out if the ser­vice does not meet the needs of young peo­ple”.

Young Farm­ers Clubs have been hit by the de­ci­sion, with a £37,960 an­nual grant be­ing scrapped af­ter the cur­rent fi­nan­cial year.

Thurs­day’s full meet­ing in Caernar­fon will also de­bate a mo­tion by Ban­gor coun­cil­lor Ca­trin Wager, call­ing for san­i­tary items to be made freely avail­able to school age women across the county.

The Welsh Gov­ern­ment has pro­vided the au­thor­ity with £29,497 to help pro­vide free san­i­tary prod­ucts for all school­girls, but Cllr Wager will call on the coun­cil to make up the re­main­ing short­fall.

Her mo­tion says: “San­i­tary items are as es­sen­tial as toi­let paper for the per­sonal hy­giene of fe­male pupils, and wel­come the rev­enue fund­ing of­fered. How­ever, the £29,497 of fund­ing for 2017/18 is un­likely to meet the cost of pro­vi­sion.”

Both mo­tions will be de­bated when coun­cil­lors meet in Caernar­fon on Thurs­day.

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