Funding cuts for Tangmere’s youth club

Anger has greeted news that funding to Tangmere’s village youth club will be cut in July.

Its fate follows that of North Mundham, Hunston, Selsey, East Wittering and Oving which already had funding withdrawn by West Sussex County Council.

Tangmere Parish Council was asked to consider funding the group, but at last week’s parish council meeting chairman Andrew Irwin said it was unfair for parish councils to be asked to take on more services and said it was a ‘damn disgrace’ for services to be passed down to parishes.

“If we are not careful this could be the first of many calls we’ll have on our resources by both Chichester District Council and WSCC as they attempt to find ways of supporting their non-increase of the precept.”

But district councillor Simon Oakley said youth clubs were not a statutory service for the county council.

Cllr Irwin said the parish would put the proposals to its finance committee, but said he had ‘grave doubts’ as to what the council could do.

“It’s a shame the decision to take away funding was made after we’d already taken a decision on our precept,” said Cllr Irwin.

The decision also comes after WSCC was criticised last week for its funding of council YouTube videos.

“For WSCC to fund a PR website after cuts to children’s services has caused them some embarrassment,” added Cllr Irwin.

In a statement WSCC said it had sent the parish council a letter at the end of January alerting it to the next round of reductions. Funding would be removed at the end of the summer term.

“In keeping with our current approach, the timing of the withdrawal will be finally agreed in conjunction with the management committee, who are being encouraged to look for alternative funding sources if they wish to continue the Youth Club in the future,” it said.

“WSCC will continue to support the club with training, advice, payroll support etc. This approach has been successfully adopted by many other village youth clubs around the county over the past 12 months.”