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Chittenden: Future of Kent Youth Services "will be debated and agreed in secret"

February 13, 2012 1:46 PM
Originally published by Liberal Democrats on Kent County Council

In response to a question raised by Lib Dem County Councillor Ian Chittenden, at the County Council meeting on Thursday 9th February, the Conservative Cabinet Member confirmed that the decision on the future of Youth Services will be decided by newly formed 'Locality Boards' (where they exist). Locality boards are informal bodies, with no requirement to allow the public to attend the meetings to listen to or join in the debates about changes to their local youth services.

Maidstone County Councillor Ian Chittenden commented:

"I support the principle of Locality Boards providing opportunities for important local issues to be decided in the affected neighbourhood but I am utterly disgusted that young people, families and other residents will not be able to listen to the debate about changes to their local services."

"Conservatives wax lyrical about 'greater transparency and openness, making the decision process more inclusive, robust and accessible' but when it comes to the crunch, important decisions about key community services such as youth services and libraries will be made behind closed doors in secret."

"Locality boards MUST be accountable to Kent residents. I challenge KCC Conservatives to stop talking about greater transparency and openness and just get on and do it by holding all Locality Boards in public, starting with the meetings about our youth services."