Cameron constituency youth workers to strike


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The Independent Online

Youth workers in David Cameron's constituency will go on strike today in protest at cuts to their services.

The 24-hour stoppage comes just a week after the Prime Minister visited an award-winning youth centre near his Witney home to launch the "fightback" against rioters.

Mr Cameron spoke at a youth centre called Base 33, run by a charity which is not affected by local-authority cuts. But youth workers were incensed that he made no mention of county-council cuts to local services.

Unite, the union which represents youth workers, said yesterday that five centres in the Witney area were to be closed as a result.

Oxfordshire said that of its 26 youth centres, 13 would stay open as "early-intervention centres" delivering a range of services to young people. A further nine would receive funding from a new "Big Society" fund.

Mike Beal, Unite branch chairman, said those who took jobs in the early-intervention centres would no longer be youth workers. "They will be dealing with vulnerable people and their problems," he said. "We're not against that. In fact, we do that already, but the whole point of the youth service is it is open access to everyone, and it won't be under the new set-up."