Over the last decade the Government has dramatically cut the public funding for the provision for young people across the UK. This is a very disturbing element that has caused many problems. We now need the Government to admit that they have set out a a higher risk situation for our nation. This reduction for the support for young people in our nation has raised a number of challenges. One of the statements has emerged recently from Leigh Middleton, the Chief Executive of the National Youth Agency (NYA). He has stated
There is little or no youth provision in many rural areas. Young people living in rural areas are all too often overlooked, leaving them vulnerable to isolation, loneliness and poor mental health
The provision from Governments for young people has been seriously reduced in the last decade. In addition to this there has been a far deeper impact to young people in rural settings than the young people in urban areas. The funding from the Government in 2011 for young people services was £158 in urban settings and £108 in rural settings which was very disturbing at that time and that was clearly a damaging result from the Labour Government. This means we do need to challenge the views in both of our Governmental Parties. The rural settings had received 68% of the funding delivered to urban settings. As I have discovered in the past from the Action in Rural Sussex organisation living in rural settings costs more than living in urban settings so what was needed in 2011 was a major shift towards the rural communities.
However there is also another challenge as had the Government retained the same sort of funding based on the inflation over the last decade the funding would now represent £197.50 in both settings. Even if they had failed to change the proportion the rural settings would receive £135 per person based on the impact of inflation. As it happens the Conservative Governments have increased the rural setting to 76% of the urban setting so they do need to be acknowledged. However before we consider that to be a good result the current funding is now merely £62 in urban settings and £47 in rural settings per young person. So the real value reduction in urban settings is 69% compared to what was needed following the inflation over the last decade and the situation in rural settings is a reduction of 65%.
There is a very useful article in the Children and Young People Now publication that was written by Fiona Simpson on Thursday and that is available here for a very useful discussion about the agency that has raised the concern about the rural setting and the overall reduction in both urban and rural settings. Clearly we need all of the MPs in the UK to stand up and call for the Government to reverse this dramatic 2/3 cut in our young people provision. Two of the MPs in Sussex are part of the Educational Department so Nick Gibb and Gillian Keegan must be held to account for this sort of decision making. Clearly we also need to call on both parties to ensure that in the future, that rural people will receive the same sort of provision that is handed over to urban people. However a 65-68% reducation over the last decade must be reversed immediately.