Bradford councillor Geoff Reid raises fears over youth service cuts (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bradford councillor Geoff Reid raises fears over youth service cuts
7:00am Tuesday 31st December 2013 in News
A Bradford councillor has warned that attacks on cab drivers on the Ravenscliffe estate are proof that cutting youth services could harm entire communities.
Drivers in the BD2 area met last week in response to a number of attacks on the estate, including robberies and cars regularly being pelted with stones.
Representatives of private hire companies decided that if violence against drivers continued, they would stop responding to calls from the estate.
During the meeting, drivers told Bradford East MP David Ward and ward councillors that it was often the youngsters of Ravenscliffe who were responsible for throwing stones and eggs at their vehicles, and said more should be done to get these young people off the streets.
Now ward councillors will visit the estate’s youth centre to try to bring an end to the vandalism, and think the facility could be the key. But they fear efforts to improve the community could be scuppered if services at the centre fall prey to cost-cutting measures by Bradford Council.
Last month, the authority revealed its proposed budget for 2014/15, which would see youth services cut by 75 per cent.
A meeting planned for next Tuesday will now discuss not only the planned cuts, but also ways to stop young people from making life miserable for cabbies.
Based on Roundwood Avenue, the youth centre offers after-school activities for young people, and councillors think it is vital to draw young people off the streets and get them involved in more wholesome activities.
Coun Reid said: “We arranged this meeting with the young people to discuss cuts in the youth service provision before the recent spate of attacks on drivers. However, these episodes of mindless and dangerous vandalism point up the folly of cutting youth services at Ravenscliffe Youth Centre.
“Ravenscliffe residents, adults and young people need to get a grip on this anti-social behaviour and they deserve support from Council services in doing so. This includes the youth service.
“The youth club is an obvious place for getting the message out that every stone thrown at a taxi or private hire car is not just an attack on ‘outsiders’.
“It is a threat to the social life of your own family, friends and neighbours on Ravenscliffe.”
Bradford Council is considering the views of the public on its spending plans and a final budget will be set at a special meeting at City Hall on February 20.
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