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  • Writer's pictureCllr Liam Walker

Extra £1m for youth services in Oxfordshire

Communities in Oxfordshire are to be offered help with youth services as part of budget plans.

Young people and their families in Oxfordshire are set to benefit from improved community-run youth services if County Councillors agree grant funding when they set the council's budget next week.

Youth groups will be invited to bid in to a £1m fund over two years, with encouragement to find match funding from the local communities. Feedback from residents points to strong support for improving community-run youth services, and this money would help existing projects expand and new ones get off the ground.

By offering start-up funding, the council has already helped many community-run groups provide support for young children and families, and it is hoped the same could happen for youth services.

Community-run youth services would complement the work of the County Council's Children Services department, which targets its resources at children at risk of abuse and neglect.

Councillor Ian Hudspeth, the Leader of the County Council said: "People in their individual local areas, towns and villages know best what's good for their community and where they'd like to see improvements."

"It would be good to be able to offer teenagers in those communities the chance to have their own space to pursue their own interests and the company of other young people in a safe environment. Communities and our own County Councillors tell us that community-run youth services are really valued. We want to try to reach out to all areas of the county, recognising good existing provision and offering additional support and offering help where there are gaps in services and where local people have energy and ideas to offer terms of what could be delivered."

"We know that our thriving Oxfordshire communities share the County Council's ambition to give every cild a good start in life and we are looking forward to working with them with this additional money."

The funds would be administered by a cross-party working group of Oxfordshire's County Councillors, chaired by Councillor Mark Grey. The proposals will be considered by the annual budget setting meeting of the County Council on Tuesday 12th February.

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