By Carl Jackson Thursday 20 September 2012 Updated: 20/09 16:13
THE DECISION on whether or not to close Rubery Youth Centre as been delayed.
County councillors were due to come to a conclusion on the service at a cabinet meeting on Thursday (September 27), but the issue has been pulled from the agenda at the last minute and will now be discussed on October 18.
Despite this, campaigners who have fought tooth and nail to save the centre for two years say they think Worcestershire County Council has already decided to sell off the centre.
And Yasmin Millward, spokesperson for the campaign, accused the authority of breaking promises, ignoring the young people of Rubery and lying to them about their views being taken into account.
In an open letter to Lyz Eyre, the lead member for children's services for Worcestershire County Council, Yasmin criticised the plans to replace the youth centre building with other services.
She said: "You say that there will be 'no gap' in the youth service, whereas you know there will be a gap, and a noticeable one.
"You will never replicate the service at Rubery, with its highly qualified, CRB checked youth workers, and a building with many facilities including computers, dance studio and sports hall.
"It will be replaced with what you call 'positive activities' such as sports clubs, and will be nothing like the amazing youth service there has been at Rubery for many years."
Yasmin also believes the council can more than a afford to maintain the building and keep the service as it is.
"What is £30,000 a year, if it keeps hundreds of young people off the street, it gives them free sex advice and contraception, it helps them find a home or get essential advice, it helps them get into college or university and get a job?
"The cost it would take to run would be more than worth it if it gives these young people ambitions and something to hope for."
County councillor Peter McDonald, who represents Rubery and has backed the campaign to save the centre, said the council delaying the decision could be a positive sign.
"I don't know whether it is good news or bad news yet, but no news is better than bad.
"But if the council is seriously reconsidering it, it is down to the marvellous campaign by Yasmin and her colleagues.
"They are really showing the way for young people."
A spokesperson from Worcestershire County Council confirmed the decision had been put back until October's meeting to allow officers time to clarify issues raised at a chairman's briefing.
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