Pic supplied by Paulette Hamilton MP
(Ed’s Note: This column was written to be published in the Erdington Local newspaper – out from 5 June)
Recently, Birmingham City Council submitted a planning application that would have reduced the size of Erdington Library to make space for a youth centre.
Thankfully, following a community campaign led by Friends of Erdington Library, Erdington Lunar Society, and concerns that I had raised, the council swiftly withdrew the application.
The sad truth is that we need things for young people to do in our area but since 2010, the Tories have decimated our youth services. As a result, there are only a handful of services left for young people.
The YMCA youth charity found that nationally, council spending on youth services has fallen from £1.4bn in 2010 to £379m in 2021. During that time, 750 youth centres and a staggering 4,500 youth workers have been lost.
Government cuts have led to half of Birmingham’s youth centres closing their doors, including Erdington’s Malcolm Locker Youth Centre. It now sits empty, rundown and a shell of its former self.
More than decade of Tory cuts has failed a generation of local young people. The service is in serious need of investment and a government that is prepared to put young people at the heart of what they do.
For more on Paulette Hamilton MP for Erdington visit www.paulettehamilton.org