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Youth Services

Volume 669: debated on Tuesday 7 January 2020

In September, the Chancellor announced a new £500 million youth investment fund to build and refurbish youth centres and deliver high-quality services to young people across the country. That will include £250 million of capital investment, which is expected to deliver 60 new youth centres, 360 refurbished facilities and more than 100 mobile units for harder-to-reach areas.

Over the past decade, spending on youth services has been cut by more than £1 billion. In constituencies such as mine and across London, the number of youth clubs has almost halved. Will the Chancellor finally own up to the devastating effect that austerity has had on young people in my constituency and commit to funding a proper statutory youth service in his upcoming Budget?

What I can promise the hon. Lady is that the Government are committed to funding local government with a settlement, which was announced before the election, of an additional 4.4% in real-terms increase that will give local authorities that additional spending power alongside the youth investment fund announcement that I mentioned earlier.

Will my hon. Friend take steps to ensure that young people in Wycombe are not disadvantaged by excessively coarse aggregate measures of deprivation, which can obscure real need in constituencies such as mine?

I recognise the challenge of getting to the heart of the problems in different constituencies, and I would be happy to meet my hon. Friend to better understand his specific concerns so that we can get to the heart of the problem in his constituency.