New plans for youth and play centres

Discussions are set to get underway with voluntary and community organisations about taking over six youth and play centre buildings.

The city council needs to save £156 million over the next three years and the youth and play service faces a 50 percent reduction in its budget.

The council’s Cabinet is being asked to approve a proposal which will see the following buildings transferred:

  • Mab Lane Youth and Play Centre
  • Knotty Ash Youth and Community Centre
  • Childwall Youth Centre
  • ZAP Play Centre
  • Walton Adventure Playground and Centre
  • Epsom Street Play Centre

Councillor Steve Munby, Cabinet member with responsibility for the youth service, said: “In an ideal world we would love to be able to continue funding these centres, but the scale of the cuts we face mean that we have to make some extremely difficult decisions.

“We are hopeful that we will be able to encourage community and voluntary groups to take over the buildings and operate similar types of services.

“We are committed to making sure the assets that we transfer continue to be used for the benefit of the local community.

“We understand that this is a difficult and unsettling time for the staff affected, and we will keep them informed throughout the process.”

The transfer will save the city council a total of £123,000 per year.

If the proposal is approved on 21 March, expressions of interest will be invited in April with a final recommendation being considered in the summer.