‘Innovative’ partnership could save Keynsham youth services

A partnership between B&NES Council and Keynsham Town Council could see youth services saved at the town’s Time Out Youth Centre.

Conservative Councillors in Keynsham have backed a plan which would see the Town Council and local authority working together to keep youth services based in the centre of the town.

The Time Out Youth Centre in Keynsham is one of five in Bath and North East Somerset currently under review as the council seeks to save money in the face of cuts of up to 30% from Government grants. As part of a consultation into the future of the area’s youth services, the Council is proposing that the number static place-based youth centres is reduced and instead a focus is put on mobile youth groups and support for community-based youth activities.

Conservative councillors in Keynsham have said they support the council’s approach, but that a town the size of Keynsham will still require a Youth Centre, particularly to serve disadvantaged children.

Cllr Alan Hale (Cons, Keynsham South) said:

“We understand the need for the council to make budget savings and support the proposal that community organisations should be helped to provide local youth activities. Local communities have a leading role to play in providing activities for their young people, and can often better tailor these services than the Council itself.

“As part of this, we believe that an innovative partnership could be created with Keynsham Town Council to ensure youth services remain at the Time Out centre, particularly for disadvantaged children or those who would have few other activities. We hope that an agreement can be reached between B&NES Council and the Town Council which would enable the necessary budget savings, but allow youth services to continue in Keynsham.”

B&NES Councillor Brian Simmons (Cons, Keynsham North), who also sits on Keynsham Town Council, commented:

“As budgets get tighter we will need to think in more imaginative ways about how services such as youth provision can be provided. I would be supportive of any idea which allows our youth centre to carry on serving young people in Keynsham, and a joint arrangement between the Town Council and the local authority could be a positive one.”