The role and sufficiency of youth services - House of Commons, 24 July 2019

Councils provide a wide range of youth services. As local authority budgets have reduced and demand for services has increased, councils have had to make difficult decisions about how to use increasingly limited resources on youth services.


Key messages

  • Councils provide a range of youth services that play a key role to support young people. This includes working to protect and improve outcomes for children and young people, safeguarding and child protection, youth work and early intervention programmes.
  • As local authority budgets have reduced and demand for services has increased, councils have had to make difficult decisions about how to use increasingly limited resources. Local government has lost 60p out of every £1 of funding for services, and councils face an £8 billion funding gap by 2025.
  • Councils were forced to cut spending on local youth services by 52 per cent, from £652 million in 2010/11 to £352 million in 2017/18.  In many areas, services for young people are increasingly targeted at those in most need to try to ensure that they receive the support they need to flourish. While this targeting is essential, this has left limited funding available for universal youth services.
  • Councils also provide services to prevent children and young people coming into the youth justice system and lead on tackling serious violent crime in our communities. We welcome the Government’s recent announcements regarding new pots of funding to tackle issues around crime and young people. Whilst announcements of new funds are welcome, this should not replace the core funding required to support integral local government services.
  • Many other services that impact young adults are delivered by local government outside the remit of youth services. The challenges facing them span a range of areas, including, poverty, housing, skills and employment, access to training and careers advice, access to mental and physical health and wellbeing services, and exposure to violence, crime and exploitation.
  • The Government must use the Queen’s Speech, Spending Review and other opportunities to deliver powers, certainty and sustainable funding for local government. The LGA’s Councils Can campaign sets out our positive agenda for a new localism settlement that will help ensure councils can continue to support young adults.

Download the full briefing
The role and sufficiency of youth services - House of Commons, 24 July 2019