YOUTH workers staged a rally last night amid fears for the future of council-run youth clubs across Mid Cheshire.
Last week we reported that Cheshire County Council had recommended outsourcing its youth services department by merging it with Connexions Cheshire and Warrington.
The council says it will create a wide-ranging service backed by a £12m-plus budget to meet the needs of young people across the county by bringing together the outreach youth service and careers support and advice.
But youth workers fear it could lead to cuts in services and put jobs and youth clubs at risk.
The Community and Youth Work-ers Union Cheshire held a rally at Rudheath Youth Centre last night and Dan Moxon, branch chairman, said: 'We believe this will lead to a drop in standards of services for young people and as yet we have had no confirmation that the move will not involve redundancies or a threat to youth workers' terms and conditions.
'The rally last night gave the public the chance to hear the arguments against outsourcing youth work, and to find out what they can do to stop this disastrous move.'
The council meets tomorrow (Thursday) to decide whether to approve the recommendation. A new service will be in place by April 2008. n THE Youth Service has been praised for its work with young people across the county by Ofsted.
It rated the service as good, saying it provided value for money. The report highlighted increased levels of participation and recorded achievement due to the creation of hubs and schemes like young parent groups, health clinics and a drugs intervention service.
Principal youth officer Berni Moore added: 'This successful endorsement of the youth service highlights the hard work and enthusiasm of both staff and young people alike.
'We have continued to improve our services since the last inspection in 2002 and I am delighted that this hard work has been recognised through this report.'