Children and Family Wellbeing Services will no longer be delivered from The Star Youth Centre in Ashton after Lancashire County Council approved changes to the service.Advertisement
Campaigners have fought hard to save the centre after LCC announced it was changing the way the service is provided.
But following a county wide consultation, the cabinet approved plans to cut services at seven centres in Lancashire – including the Star.
Cllr Gill Oliver, who has battled to keep the centre open, slammed the decision by LCC.
She said: “They have taken this decision without any reference to the wider needs of Ashton – the crime figures, burglary rates and families who are desperate for things for young people to do.
“This was simply a paper based consultation, and now the wellbeing service is being shipped out, The Star is no longer viable.
“We spoke to mums during our campaign, who said ‘you can’t not go ahead with the Youth Zone in Preston and then go around and close smaller clubs too.
“The children have nowhere to go.”
The Children and Family Wellbeing Service will continue to run from the Riverbank Children’s Centre in Brieryfield Road.
A spokesman for LCC said: “The changes reflect the need to deliver services in the community in a more flexible way, after research and analysis showed people were using buildings to access help and support less often.
“The service supports children, young people, parents and families, and prioritises those most in need. It helps them to stay fit and well, and ensure they are less likely to need social care support.”
Read more: Families band together to save children’s services at Ashton’s Star Youth Centre
Edwina Grant OBE, executive director for education and children’s services, said: “Our priority remains to provide the very best service we can to the people in Lancashire in most need of our support.
“The way that people access the service is changing, so we’re focusing more on connecting with people at the heart of the community through one-to-one sessions with family workers in their homes, through community venues such as cafes and village halls, and even working with young people on the streets.
“The work we do to support people isn’t changing and we’re not reducing the number of front-line workers that provide this valued service. However, by delivering the service from fewer venues we can make much-needed savings while still providing support to people who need it most.”
Read more: End of the road for Preston’s Youth Zone plans
What do you make of the decision regarding the Star centre? Let us know your views in the comments below