Campaign Launched To Stop Closure Of Hogarth Youth Centre

Parents take protest to Council headquarters over budget cutbacks


Hogarth Youth Club 'Must Be Saved'

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Parents in Chiswick have launched a protest campaign to try to save the Hogarth Youth Centre from closure. The centre in Duke Road is being threatened by cutbacks in Hounslow Council's Youth Budget of £650,000, which could see full-time staff let go from five youth centres across the borough.

A group of parents have now come together and taken their protest to Hounslow Council's headquarters at the Civic Centre on Lampton Road where they displayed banners and posters last night.

The local Green Party has also said it opposes cutbacks leading to closure.

hogarth youth centre

Hogarth Youth Centre

One local said that a lot of the parents that attended the public consultation at Hogarth Youth Centre left quite frustrated and angry at how they had been treated and feeling that their thoughts had not been heard or listened to. They have now come together and linked with other parents, children and members of the community to organise a protest to try to make the council change its mind and keep the youth centres open.

Over 200 people including local head teachers, local councillors John Todd and Adrian Lee, and local police sergeant Dave Turtle, attended a meeting at the Hogarth Youth Centre recently where they heard that the full time and part time staffers at Hogarth would be replaced with a mobile team of 'detached youth workers' who would support young people on estates or by doing street work. The Centre is partly funded by the Council and run by the Hogarth Trust charity whose lease expires in 2025.

Hounslow Green Party said today it is opposed to proposed cuts to the Hounslow Youth budget of £650k.

Mariette Labelle, the Hounslow Green Party membership secretary, has written to the Council on behalf of Hounslow Green party, requested prioritisation of four key services, and asked Hounslow Council to support Sian Berry’s City Hall budget amendment to fund these services centrally.

Mariette said “I was shocked to find out about these proposed cuts which will hit some of our young people, and their parents, hard. I know that the Council have budgetary pressures, but this is not the right way to save money. Hounslow Green Party will fight these cuts, and other interested parties should contact the council with their concerns before the consultation closes on 6th March, 2017."

Hounslow Green party also suggest that The Good Shepherd Project should be funded by the Army Welfare Service instead of from the Youth Services budget.

The Hogarth Youth Centre provides a range of youth programmes for young people aged 8-21. This includes Junior Club for 8 – 11 year olds, Intermediates Club for young people in Years 7, 8 and 9 and Senior Youth Club for 11-21 year olds.

A wide range of activities include cooking, table tennis, football, dance, arts and crafts, board games, volleyball and more. It also provides holiday programmes, trips and other opportunities for young people.

Hounslow Council last month launched a public consultation on its plans to withdraw full time staffing of five local centres.

The Council says its shortfall in central funding means it has to direct money towards other areas such as youth counselling and respite for young carers in the borough. The £212,000 in its budget will also support mobile outreach for 'hot spot' areas of need, the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, and the Good Shepherd project for young people in Hounslow Barracks who are isolated due to frequent re-location.

Hounslow points out that young people will still be able to access a range of services provided by organisations such as schools, churches, leisure centres, libraries, apprenticeship providers, as well as local authority services such as the 14-19 service and its counselling service staff gave them a leaflet about the consultation.

February 23, 2017

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