Young people from Pie Factory Music hold protest over planned cuts to KCC youth services

Pie Factory Music protested against the cuts earlier this year

Young people and staff from Ramsgate’s Pie Factory Music have protested today (August 22) against proposed cuts to commissioned youth services by Kent County Council (KCC).

KCC is currently consulting on plans for a ‘Family Hub’ model of delivering multiple services for youngsters aged 0-19 – or up to 25 for children with special education needs or disabilities. This includes providing outreach activities, reducing the number of permanent buildings and using digital technologies. The aim is to reduce costs and carbon footprint and help balance the council’s budget.

The programme means an overhaul of Children’s Centre services, Youth Services and Health Visiting, with KCC saying these will work alongside community-based midwifery care, bringing them together and making them easier to access.

But the changes include a proposal to stop funding youth clubs and activities currently commissioned by KCC but run by non-KCC organisations – and this will include Thanet’s Pie Factory Music which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year.

KCC says: “This is due to the financial pressures the council is facing. This means that some activities and clubs would stop unless the organisations are able to find alternative funding. We are keen to hear from service users how the proposed changes might affect them.”

The cuts will mean a loss of 45% of Pie Factory’s income, hitting the services it provides in Thanet and Dover.

Some 100 young people use those services and clubs every week but if the income is lost it will be “the end of open access youth work,” says Pie CEO  Zoë Carassik-Lord.

Today’s protest was held outside Dame Janet Primary where a consultation session over the changes to KCC services was being held.

Zoë Carassik-Lord (Photo Pie Factory Music)

Zoe, who was at the protest which included drumming and music from the group, said: “We want to raise awareness about the public consultation over changes to youth services KCC is currently running.

“We will lose 45% of our income if these cuts go ahead. It will mean the end of open access youth work with young people across Kent.

“Young people will not have a place to go outside of school hours. Eighty-five per cent of young people’s waking hours is spent outside of school and what are they going to do during these hours if they cannot go to youth clubs and place like Pie where there is open access and no expectation of outcomes or accreditations.

“They will end up hanging about in parks and what KCC saves on cutting funding to commissioned youth services will end up being spent on (extra) police, health and social services.”

The vast majority of current open access youth work is being delivered by Kent’s commissioned providers, with Pie Factory Music delivering for Thanet and Dover districts.

Pie Factory says the cuts will mean the end music and creative arts programmes, sports, cooking and bike maintenance projects, youth volunteering and social action projects, gardening groups and Duke of Edinburgh Award programmes.

Clair Bell, KCC Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: “By bringing services together in Family Hubs and focusing on the early years of childhood development, we will ease access to the vital services and create and encourage positive opportunities for later in life.

“We want to make sure our approach is right and will meet the needs of families, children and young people in the county and so I urge everyone to give us their thoughts on our proposals.”

The consultation event at Dame Janet school (Highfield Road entrance) runs today (August 22) until 2pm.

Give your views

Respond to the consultation via KCC’s website / email / phone number by 13 September. Complete the online form at www.kent.gov.uk/familyhubservices

or send your feedback by email, letter or phone: [email protected] / 03000 419292.

Consultation document: https://letstalk.kent.gov.uk/25821/widgets/73505/documents/44546

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Thanet steps up the fight to save nursery and children’s centres from closure in county council cuts

24 Comments

  1. Well done to all at the Pie Factory. We must stand by them and do all we can to stop these cuts. Ramsgate youth services are vital.

    • Mrs Constantine- Why don’t you give your Councillors allowance to them! In excess of £2 Million paid annually for KCC councillors for what? Give you allowance for telephone internet and heating is enough.

      • FedupB, you’d be a councillor for free then ? Most of them get about £16k a year for all the hassle and abuse they receive !

        • That’s too much. Add £15000 for their pet likes and equates to £30000 per individual. My OAP IS LEES THAN THEIR ALLOWANCE!! Best give them telephone allowance, internet allowance, travelling allowance and heating allowance for room used as office.

          • Facts my allowance is £16k per annum before tax equals £13k after taxes, members grants to local charities is Not £15k but £3,600. The problem is the Amount of work some counties do or don’t do . Every 4 years you can decide.

    • The art Council are too busy giving the likes of Ramsgate Music hall 30K odd to fund their gender neutral toilets.

    • Perhaps the diverted arts funding suggested by Ms Pink-Checksfield should only be granted to organizations if they sign a clause promising not to have “music and creative arts programmes” – since any music and art created in these programmes will undoubtedly be modern…

  2. This will affect The Pavilion Youth and Community Cafe Broadstairs too. We are sub-contracted to Pie Factory Music and these cuts affect literally hundreds of young people across Thanet, and the whole county. If someone from The Isle of Thanet News would like to contact us, I’d be happy to share our views. KCC are attending our summer event on 31st August, and we invite anyone this affects to come along.

    • It’s not just young people who would lose out if Victoria loses the funding for her youth activities,but the Mums, grannies and carers who attend the weekly sessions for the little ones and the others who go along regularly for coffee, cake and bacon sandwiches.

      Victoria and her team have created an amazing venue from a derelict building TDC leases to her.It has been a part of our community for some years now and would be much missed if funding isn’t available to keep the project going.

  3. Ms pink you are really a very sad person, my spelling might be incorrect sometimes but I don’t hide behind a fake name so do us all a favour and shut up

  4. Constructive activities for young people in Thanet is hugely important, especially for families who can’t afford out of school activities for their teens. This is such a false economy.

    • I agree. On a Saturday morning there is free football coaching for those whose parents can’t afford for them to join a club. Boots were available for the same reason.

      • The government found £Bs to pay the fuel companies their enormous profits. They found £Ms to pay for PPE that was woefully inadequate, or in some cases nonexistent. There’s enough in the kitty to pay for a private jet for Richie Sunak.
        But for the children of hard up families …??

      • From taxing multinationals like amazon, bp, shell and other similar companies who are ripping us including you fed up whose state pension is too low because of the rip off society after 13 years of tory misrule.

        • My state pension Mr Lewis has been accrued since I first paid contributions in 1963! Therefore not accrued only in years governed by Conservatives. Your memory is unfortunately selective. I worked from age of 16 to retirement 11 years ago without claiming any form of benefits. Different background culture of standing on our own feet.

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