YOUTH and community services in Henley-in-Arden are at risk under cutbacks being considered by Warwickshire County Council, which has to save £60 million by 2014.
Councils have been told to drastically reduce spending on services by 2014 as part of a policy to slash central funding to local authorities by 28 per cent over four years.
But critics of the cuts say that the cost to the community will be far more.
Peter Crathorne, chair of Henley-in-Arden Youth and Community Centre Management Committee said: “If youth services are closed, the cost to the county and the government will be much more in providing custodial, social service and mental health facilities for those who will be neglected.
“In Henley itself the residents will notice immediately when the youth club is closed.
“I know of least 20 young people whose contact with the youth club has been instrumental in steering them away from the justice system thus removing the prospect of a Criminal Record blighting their lives.”
Cllr Alan Farnell, Leader of the Council said on the council’s website: “We will have to take difficult decisions but we will prioritise vital services to meet the needs of our communities. We will also have to stop doing some things altogether.”
Mr Crathorne is asking locals to sign an e-petition urging Warwickshire County Council to place the Youth and Community service in the category of first line protected services.