Youth services need statutory funds

The Commission for Racial Equality has called
for a statutory youth service to promote cohesion in racially
divided communities.

funding has been blamed for the failure of youth services in
Oldham, Bradford and Burnley to promote community cohesion before
last summer’s disturbances.

“Britain needs a publicly funded,
statutory youth service,” says the CRE report, which was published
last week following a review of the towns in which ethnic groups
often live in separate communities.

finds that youth services tend to be segregated and that
initiatives to integrate groups have often faded because of funding

youth projects do useful work but, when the funding stops, the
effects of that work, and often the youth workers too, are lost to
the community,” the report says.

projects need statutory funding to secure staff and facilities and
to launch long-term programmes that can tackle the racial prejudice
that divides so many young people from one another.”

CRE has also called for a government-funded network of local
community organisations to promote cohesion by bringing together
people from different ethnic groups.

Local Strategic Partnerships, however, the CRE has warned that,
although they have the potential to promote cohesion, they also
have the potential to increase resentment between

Now in
their second year, the LSPs in the 88 most deprived areas in
England will focus their regeneration projects on small areas of
little more than a few streets. As a consequence, funding for
specific areas may appear to be for the benefit of a particular
ethnic community.

can cause resentment by other communities in neighbouring wards,” a
CRE spokesperson said.

“Funding programmes along
thematic lines would be one way of overcoming this problem. Funds
would not be locked into particular geographical areas and could
instead serve to unite neighbouring communities, while still being
aimed at those most deprived.”

neighbourhood renewal unit said it would review the allocation
process to ensure it was fair.

A Place for Us All – Learning from Bradford, Oldham and
, The Stationery Office, £5.

More from Community Care

Comments are closed.