Fenland Youth Council warned of “lesson in the real world” as £10,000 a year budget reviewed as part of £900,000 savings needed

Overview and Scrutiny committee of the leader’s annual meeting with the committee.

Overview and Scrutiny committee of the leader’s annual meeting with the committee. - Credit: Archant

The £10,000 given out each year to Fenland Youth Council may be cut which will give them a lesson “in the real world”.

Overview and Scrutiny committee of the leader’s annual meeting with the committee. Cllr Mike Cornwel

Overview and Scrutiny committee of the leader’s annual meeting with the committee. Cllr Mike Cornwell. - Credit: Archant

Councillor Will Sutton, cabinet member for neighbourhood planning, revealed a possible cut – but not the extent of the cut- to councillors yesterday (Mon).

Cllr Sutton said: “Young people need to learn about the real world, and in the real world we are having to make cuts, and so we have cut the budget they have to give out in grants to other organisations.

“It is a lesson they need to learn.”

No decisions have been taken on next year’s budget – the council is now considering all options.

Overview and Scrutiny committee of the leader’s annual meeting with the committee. Cllr Will Sutton.

Overview and Scrutiny committee of the leader’s annual meeting with the committee. Cllr Will Sutton. - Credit: Archant


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Councillor Kit Owen, the mayor of March, told the overview and scrutiny committee that plans to cut the budget used by the youth council could look as if the council was cutting back on the youth council itself.

The debate formed part of a lengthy meeting which considered the financial situation facing Fenland Council.

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Committee chairman Councillor Jan French said the public was not fully aware the council was having to make £900,000 worth of cutbacks and therefore did not understand proposals like that to close Community House in Wisbech.

Councillor Virginia Bucknor accused Cabinet of failing to stick to its top aim listed in a lengthy 132 report updating progress on an array of council activity, by looking to close Community House in Wisbech.

Overview and Scrutiny committee of the leader’s annual meeting with the committee. Cllr Virginia Buc

Overview and Scrutiny committee of the leader’s annual meeting with the committee. Cllr Virginia Bucknor. - Credit: Archant

She said: “The most vulnerable people are in Waterlees and without any consultation with members at all you have made a decision to look at closing Community House.

“Helping vulnerable people is your top priority and yet you are doing this.”

She also accused the council of failing to consult with the Oasis Centre to see if it could accommodate the services provided at Community House if it closes.

However, Councillor Mike Cornwell, portfolio holder for communities, insisted they have had discussions with the Oasis Centre.

Councillor Michelle Tanfield with Sophie Dawson, Ben Martin and Claire Bennett.

Councillor Michelle Tanfield with Sophie Dawson, Ben Martin and Claire Bennett. - Credit: Archant

“Of course we have,” he said. Cllr Cornwell will attend a meeting at the Oasis on Thursday when the closure threat will be considered.

Council Leader John Clark said the Community House proposal was one of many difficult decisions the council was having make in its bid to save £900,000 worth of savings as a result cuts to its government funding,

He said every area of the council was being looked at including whether or not they could continue to contribute to events like the Fenland Business Awards.

Cllr French concluded: “You need to stop pussyfooting about, get out there and be honest about the financial situation - I hope the council take that suggestion.”

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