CHILDREN in Harrow face a “bleak future” as youth workers battle to keep providing services in the face of cuts.

Harrow Council is contemplating stripping away £2.2 million from a range of services, with youth workers facing the axe, according to its draft budget.

At the same time Government spending cuts will fall on money for school sports while cash for improving standards in education has also been hit.

Coalition MPs are today expected to vote down a bid to save the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA), aimed at keeping disadvantaged young people in school.

Abdi Muse, co-director of Youth Foundation Services, a voluntary body in the image of David Cameron's “Big Society”, works with young people and said he was looking for positive signs.

He said: “It is looking very bleak. It was looking very bleak before the spending cuts. That's the only word that comes to mind.

“It's bleak for the future of young people. We are looking for the pigeon holes of positivity coming through.”

The council's planned children's services cuts are partly to offset £1.3m of investment needed in a range of areas but will hit after school clubs, play schools, a website for young people and Wealdstone Youth Centre.

The Youth Offending Team (YOT), which works to lure young people away from crime, will face £94,000 of staff reductions while youth workers and “targetted activities” will be hit to the tune of £400,000.

School pupils on their summer holidays will need to pay to take part in Summer Uni Harrow, a programme of events run by the council, if the spending plans are approved in their current form.

Mr Muse does not get paid for the work he does and said finances were not the answer, but did say they are means for addressing the problem.

Gareth Thomas, MP for Harrow West, said Government cuts were an attack on the “next generation”.

He said: “I do worry about the future for young people in Harrow and for the prevention of crime.”

Councillor Susan Hall, leader of the council's Conservative opposition, said she was concerned about council cuts to children's services and a review of the town centre police team.

She said: “If you've got kids hanging around with nothing to do I'm very worried about the crime implications of this.”

She called on the council to release more information about how the cuts will be made.

Councillor Mitzi Green, responsible for children's services, said: “There are huge pressures on our children’s services budget as a result of government cuts, and we are particularly concerned about the loss of the EMA.

“Many of the services are statutory and we have a duty to provide them to ensure no child is put at risk. As a result we are being forced to make efficiencies elsewhere in the budget.

“In some cases this can be done by changing the way we do things but we will inevitably have to do less of other things. Safeguarding children will always be our priority.”