Young expected to bear greatest burden of cuts

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CHILDREN and young people will be hit hardest by cuts to council budgets, according to a report by York-based charity the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

In a study of 25 local authorities across the UK, 19 said a reduction in grants led directly to cuts in frontline children and young people’s service provision, although six councils managed to absorb budget losses into back office efficiency programmes.

Nine of the local authorities said Chancellor George Osborne’s 2010 Emergency Budget alone had had a significant impact on this area – with play schemes, youth volunteering projects and specialist support in schools the main casualties.

The report also found the most deprived local authorities have been hardest hit by the cuts.

A senior executive of a deprived Conservative authority, who was anonymised in the report, said: “Something like 90 per cent of the headline cut was a reduction in specific grants for children’s services.”

Report author Glen Bramley said cuts would fall more heavily on disadvantaged people reliant on public services. “Unlike the more well-off, they are less able to supplement the loss of public services such as childcare, libraries and youth clubs with private provision.”