Surplus budget must be directed towards youth club services, a councillor has urged.

Cllr Michelle Bateman said the youth club in Letterston could be lost but it’s “such a valuable resource for my community that I’m really passionate to save it.”

But it was not just that community but other towns and outlying areas that had youth clubs accessed by a “massive age range and from varying social backgrounds.”

At Thursday’s (January 31) schools overview and scrutiny committee cabinet member for finance Cllr Bob Kilmister said that the current council budget indicated a surplus of £600,000.

This takes into account the proposed council tax rise, increase from Welsh Government and identified savings to bridge a £20million funding gap.

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Some of this – £50,000 – should be allocated to “safeguarding that provision” and keeping youth clubs going for a further year while other models of delivery are looked at, urged Cllr Bateman.

She was backed by Newport councillor Paul Harries, who said: “It is essential that these small communities are looked after.”

Cllr John Davies said that the surplus amount could equate to a one per cent less to be collected from council tax and was another option.

Cllr Bateman’s recommendation to cabinet that sufficient funding from unallocated budget be utilised to support and maintain community youth groups for the next 12 months while alternative sources of funding and delivery are explored was agreed.

Cabinet will make its budget and council tax recommendations at its next meeting on February 11 before final decisions are taken on February 21 at full council.