Thursday, February 24, 2011

Budget cuts affecting youth participation in the U.K.

The chief executive and five other full-time staff have left the U.K. Youth Parliament since December due to pending reductions in government funding, according to Children & Young People Now. The CYPN article indicates that the British Youth Council (BYC) is also expecting cuts and is seeking new sources of funding. There have apparently been informal talks of merging the two organizations or working more closely to cut costs, but no formal merger proposal has been announced. The BYC recently entered into a partnership with Young Advisors.

The BYC is currently seeking funding from private and corporate sources and is seeking to expand consulting and training services in the U.K. and abroad to generate more revenue.

The proposed cuts in funding for youth participation are part of a broader set of reductions in funding being considered by the U.K. government. An inquiry into services for children is currently being held by the Education Committee in Parliament.

Cuts in funding at the local level are also affecting youth participation, as described in this article from Richmond, where the participation officer was one of 170 people let go by the local authority.