YOUTH services in Essex will keep all its elements and see part of its budget saved.

County Hall has announced this evening no part of the Youth Service will be axed.

Essex County Council had been looking to slash the department’s budget from £5 million to £2 million a year, just 18 months after it axed funding from £12 million. But the service will now have £3.4 million spent on it in 2014/15, £2.5 million by 2015/16 and £2.4 million by 2016/17.

A consultation into how the service should be run in the future saw more than 5,000 responses, and a protest by young people outside County Hall in Chelmsford.

Ray Gooding, county councillor for education, said: "Throughout this consultation it has become increasingly clear how important the Essex Youth Service is to our young people therefore I am absolutely delighted we have been able to respond positively to their wishes and retain all elements of the Essex Youth Service.

"We do need to work within a reduced budget and therefore aspects of the service will need to be delivered differently but based on our experience initiatives such as involving the community has seen local youth provision increase and flourish."

As part of the proposed changes some services will be run externally, including by voluntary groups, rather than by the council in a bid to reduce costs.

  • Full proposals on the future model of Essex Youth Services will be presented to the county council cabinet for review next Tuesday February 25.