Councillors to review closure of youth clubs
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.