With thanks to Martin Ford.
It’s a small budget adjustment that could make a big difference.
That’s the rationale for the proposal by Aberdeenshire’s Democratic Independent and Green Group of councillors (DIGG) to reallocate £70,000 to support youth work in Aberdeenshire Council’s 2017/18 revenue budget.
Cllr Paul Johnston said:
“We believe informal learning activity for young people in safe social spaces is valuable for both the young people involved and communities.”
The purpose of community learning and development has changed since revised Scottish Government guidance was introduced in 2012.
“Traditional youth work is still important as part of a wider view of supporting communities, even though the focus of community learning and development has shifted due to government policy,” said Cllr Johnston.
“We want the Council to be able to support youth work that now falls outside the scope of community learning and development,” said Cllr Martin Ford.
“Provision could be either by the Council itself or by making funding available to community groups.
“For example, I know of really valuable youth work being provided through a community organisation locally. But it’s a continual struggle finding the funding required to keep provision in place.
“In such circumstances, a small grant from the Council could make a big difference and would certainly represent value for money for the Council in terms of the benefits for the community.”
The DIGG proposal comes despite Aberdeenshire Council facing severe budget cuts next year. The £70,000 to support youth work is proposed to be reallocated from within the community learning and development budget, which is forecast to be underspent this year.
Aberdeenshire Council’s overall budget for community learning and development work was protected by the confidence and supply agreement struck between the DIGG and the Council’s administration group in 2015.
Aberdeenshire Council’s 2017/18 revenue budget will be set at the full council meeting on 9 February.
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