Belle Isle and Middleton councillor condemns cuts to young people’s budgets

Leeds City Council has sent a message to the government criticising the impact of austerity measures on children and young people.

At yesterday’s full meeting of the council in the Civic Hall, Middleton Park councillor Judith Blake referenced a recent report into the impact of austerity measures on families and went on to highlight the record number of young people not in education, employment or training (NEETs).

Cllr Blake said:

 “We are committed to becoming the UK’s first Child Friendly City, to give children a voice, help them achieve the best possible outcomes and realise their full potential.

“This government talks constantly about being family friendly and so should be forming policy that supports and helps our ambition. In reality what they are doing is making life extremely difficult for children and young people both now and in terms of their future prospects.

 “We have seen massive cuts to funding for education and the careers service, youth unemployment is at a record high of 22.3% and we are seeing benefit changes that will leave half a million children living in absolute poverty by 2015.

“This policy direction is not only unhelpful but it is damaging the life chances of our future generations and we owe it to the children of Leeds to send our message loud and clear to central government.”