Young protesters take to streets of Ilfracombe

YOUNG people made their voices heard on the streets of Ilfracombe on Saturday as they protested against cuts to youth services in the town and across North Devon.

Around 100 people joined the peaceful march from the swimming pool to the High Street and the seafront.

It was organised by young volunteers including Christi Kelly, Georgina Bridges, Paige Fortune, Louise McCluskey and Jess Runyard, concerned for the future of youth services in the area.

They were joined by Ilfracombe county councillor Geoff Fowler and local youth workers.

Simon Cohen, North Devon Team Leader for Devon Youth Service, said cuts would affect the Ilfracombe and Braunton learning communities, with plans to have just one youth worker covering them both, instead of the current two.

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He said they did not yet know how many sessions they might be able to run from local communities as a result.

Mr Fowler said it was good to see the concern of so many young people:

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“This is an area that desperately needs extra input instead, bearing in mind facilities are already stretched and Ilfracombe generally is bereft of opportunities for youngsters,” he said.

“I am also concerned county seems to be going down the line of taking a commissioning role rather than actually offering a service.”

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