Councils to escape Youth Matters costs

The new statutory duty to provide positive activities for young people under the Youth Matters reforms will not cost councils extra money, the government has promised.

The reforms, announced last week, were backed by a pledge of about £500,000 for each average-sized local authority and more than £2m for the largest councils or those in greatest need over the next two years.

Young people will be able to bid for money for activities in their neighbourhoods from the total ring-fenced fund of £115m.

The government’s consultation on the Youth Matters green paper found that about half of adults and organisations were “unconvinced” by its proposal to introduce opportunity cards, but most young people supported the idea.

From the autumn until 2008, young people in 10 pilot projects in England will test cards holding sums of £12 or £25 a month to spend on activities.

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