Youth clubs will remain open after workers’ contracts axed

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A COUNCIL has moved to dispel confusion over the future of two youth clubs after workers’ contracts were cancelled.

Workers in charge of the Jubilee Centre youth club and the St John’s Community Centre youth club in Mildenhall have been told that their contracts will end from March 31.

But Suffolk County Council (SCC) says the move comes as part of a restructuring of youth services across the county.

Workers will now have to reapply for positions as part of the changes.

Fears over the future of the clubs had been raised after staff heard the news.

But SCC insist that the clubs will continue after the changes are made.

A spokesman said: “The centres will remain open. Staff must now reapply for positions in the new youth services structure.”

SCC announced in November that it was axing the Youth and Connexions service in its current form. Plans for youth clubs to be closed or handed on over a phased period were part of the proposals.

It was announced that the future of clubs with a ‘reasonable attendance and support from the local community’ would be considered from April to September of 2012.

The Mildenhall clubs, which have an average attendance of around 20, fall into that category. Sessions are run at the Jubilee Centre on a Monday night and at the St John’s Community Centre on a Wednesday.

Nikki Taylor, the youth worker for Suffolk County Council who runs the club, said she would be sad if she had to leave after three years working there.

“I think the new positions will be more towards targeted youth work so I don’t know if I’ll be back at Mildenhall.

“It’s hard to let go,” she said.

SCC says the clubs could eventually be replaced with targeted one-to-one youth support schemes.

Other possibilities include community groups or volunteers coming forward to run the clubs.

The staff in question are also in charge of running the Flowerpot Drop-In at Brandon.