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MP calls on Government to keep manifesto promise of £500m fund for youth services

February 10, 2021 9:27 AM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron and Liberal Democrat Police and Crime Commissioner candidate for Cumbria Mark Christie, have written to the Government to ask them to honour their manifesto commitment to provide £500m for youth services.

During the General Election in 2019, the Conservative Party promised to provide a £500m Youth Investment Fund for new youth clubs.

But 14 months later and the National Youth Agency have decried that the Government's promised funding has "gone missing", warning that failure to meet their promise would 'hollow out youth services, just at the time young people need them most'.

In a joint letter to the Secretary of State for Culture, Oliver Dowden, Tim and Mark said: "The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a huge toll on young people's mental health and wellbeing here in Cumbria and across the country. Many say that a combination of pressure of schools and exams, not being able to spend time with friends has led to them feeling isolated, depressed and not feeling happy with their lives.

"When lockdown is over, youth clubs and youth services are going to be hugely important in helping young people with their mental health.

"We therefore ask you to urgently bring forward this fund to invest in vital youth services to give our young people the support that they need now more than ever."

Commenting on the letter, Mark said: "The Government have completely failed to step up to the plate and invest in youth services, when our young people are so much in need of support right now."

"It's why if I'm elected Cumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner, I will use confiscated proceeds of crime to set up a Community Youth Fund and use evidence-based research to support targeted initiatives using sport and arts to support young people's development, especially those at risk of social exclusion."