Letters: Young fighting cuts in Cameron county

Letters: Conservative-run Oxfordshire county council plans to cut 100% of its funding for youth work, and 36 youth centres and projects will close as a result

In David Cameron's home county of Oxfordshire young people are certainly being hit hardest by the cuts (Young people bear brunt as councils reveal which services are being cut, 1 April). Conservative-run Oxfordshire county council plans to cut 100% of its funding for youth work, and 36 youth centres and projects will close as a result. 

Young people are fighting back by asking Cameron to talk to the council and stop the closures. Youth and anti-cuts groups are sending postcards to his Witney constituency office, pointing out that the £4m it costs to run Oxfordshire's youth service is less than 0.1% of the £25bn he could raise by stopping corporate tax avoidance. Will he ignore them? Or will he stand up for young people?

In Cameron's "hoodie" speech, he said: "Imagine you are 14 years old ... You hang around in the streets, and you are bored, bored, bored. And you look around you. Who isn't bored?" Cameron and Keith Mitchell, the leader of Oxfordshire council, should imagine this scenario and think about all the options before closing every youth centre in the county.

Cat Hobbs

Oxford Save Our Services

Pippa Pumfry (16)

Save All UK Youth Centres

• I was astonished and saddened to read that Lady Eaton (chair of the Local Government Association) believes that local authorities do not have a statutory duty to provide a public library service. This duty is included in section 7 of the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964, which states that it is "the duty of every library authority to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service".

Many local authorities seem to be bent on reducing their public library services to a level where it will be doubtful if their provision could any longer be said to be "comprehensive". That the leader of the LGA does not know local councils which are library authorities have this statutory duty is truly shocking.

Hilary Hammond


• The savage cuts to the arts, imposed without any right of appeal, will finish off many small arts organisations (Letters, 5 April). One wonders why the Arts Council invited over 1,000 applications for half as many grants, rather than sharing the cuts evenly to existing clients, all of whom have had to demonstrate their commitment to "great art for everyone" at each annual review.

Small poetry publishers didn't have a chance once grants were set at £40,000 and over; they have survived for years on half that, driven by the dedication of publishers innocent of market-led imperatives. The exercise has no doubt been a response to pressure from a government bent on making every area of life competitive, with the weakest the first to go.

Judith Chernaik

Poems on the Underground

The GuardianTramp

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