Southwark Labour Youth Services Spend Dropped by 82% in 10 Years

Southwark Labour’s council spend on youth services fell by 82% in 10 years, a Liberal Democrat question revealed on Wednesday evening.

In response to a Liberal Democrat members’ question at council assembly, Labour revealed that the youth services spend made this large drop to £978,818 in 2020/21.

Southwark Council’s Labour administration cut youth services finances by nearly 50% in 2016, which the Liberal Democrats opposed at the time.

In the same year, Labour introduced loss-of-office payments for outgoing cabinet members.

The council’s budget for youth services in 2021/22 was £1,195,828, which is 23% lower than what it spent in 2016/17.

Southwark Labour launched a £15m youth investment in 2021.

Commenting, Cllr William Houngbo, Southwark Liberal Democrat spokesperson for youth services, said:

“Labour has an incredibly short-term view when it comes to its policies and these figures show us that its youth new deal does not appear to have resulted in a huge injection of money into youth services. If Labour had not made its 2016 cuts, the funding gap and need for investment today would be much better for youth provisions. The pandemic has been challenging for all. But, the post-traumatic impacts are higher on our young people and we need to support them now more than ever.”