Geoffrey Cox keen to see Bideford’s provision retained as county council cuts loom

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Torridge and West Devon MP Geoffrey Cox has hailed the ‘essential service’ provided by Bideford Youth Centre as Devon County Council’s youth services review considers money-saving reorganisation.

Mr Cox visited the youth centre, which was refurbished last year, on Friday to see first-hand the valuable work it does in offering extra support to young people and running a well-attended after school club.

The centre is at risk of losing some of its funding as the county council needs to make substantial savings.

During his visit the MP met with youth workers and young people to discuss the positive work being done and to learn more about what the service offers. He also spent time with some of the ‘youth collective’, a group of young people training to support others who use the service, to learn their views on how they see the centre developing.

“I have spoken to Devon County Council on this matter and while I know it has to find major savings, I think there is a strong case that in our rural areas there must be such a service,” said Mr Cox.

“In Bideford, particularly, there is a critical need and I am extremely reluctant to see any dismantling of that.

“Bideford Youth Centre has a really good atmosphere and provides an essential service which has a huge impact on many young people and it has got to stay.

“We will have to be prepared to make our case strongly to the County Council.”

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