Lib Dem Cuts

August 12, 2008 at 4:06 pm / by

I’ve just sent off the letter written by our Labour councillors to Chris Huhne MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor, about Camden Council’s cuts to the Castlehaven Community Center in Camden Town.

This is a disgrace and I hope Chris Huhne will put pressure on the Council to reinstate the necessary funding.

Please send to

Open Letter to Chris Huhne MP

Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor

Dear Mr. Huhne,

On 7 August 2008 you visited the Castlehaven Community Center in Camden Town to outline new plans by the Liberal Democrat Party to tackle youth crime. During this visit you said: “Ministers know that programmes to divert kids away from crime work, and are even happy to promote such projects. However, they have failed to fund them properly in favour of punitive policies that grab headlines but achieve little.”

This year Lib Dem-run Camden Council cut the budget for the youth club you visited by £25,000, over half of their total grant. This cut affects the services it provides and the complete viability of the club. The club has only just managed to cover the shortfall temporarily but this will not be possible moving ahead.

This was well covered in the pages of the local press, and lead to a deputation by the organisation to Camden Council. Questions raised by Castlehaven about the decision-making process and the effects of the cuts have still not been answered by senior councillors.

The Haven is the only youth club serving the area, providing a valuable resource for a community with the second highest level of deprivation in the borough and the highest numbers of children. It is extremely well regarded, has been praised by external inspectors, practitioners, the council others agencies as well as young people themselves.

In February The Haven hosted the borough’s knife workshop. It has a purpose build media studio, youth club and sports facilities, and hosts the Camden Unity Cup. Its intergenerational work has been much praised bringing old and young people together.

We agree with you that you that youth provision should be funded, and therefore call on you to back your visit up with added pressure on your Liberal Democrat colleagues at Camden Council to restore the Haven’s funding for universal youth provision and to ask the administration to look again at how they have cut youth funding in excellent projects in the most deprived areas of the borough.

Yours sincerely,