BANKIES have slammed the council’s decision to slash the funding of a local charity that supports vulnerable young people.

We previously reported that Y Sort It’s core funding had been cut by 25 per cent earlier this month as West Dunbartonshire Council (WDC) set its budget for 2024/25.

Following this announcement people from across the town shared their outrage on social media.

One person said: “Brutal, short-sighted decision.”

A second commented: “Was proud to stand with Y Sort It [at the Enough is Enough protest], this decision is disgusting.

“Y Sort It does an amazing job and transforms lives. If it wasn’t for this organisation a lot of people would be very different.

“The current council don’t care about our young people or the invaluable work they do through this organisation.

“Other community groups benefit from their work too.”

A third wrote: “An essential service in our community. Devastating to young people, their families, and the community.

“Time for WDC to cut some of their top-heavy spending and prioritise people, not their own pockets.”

Y Sort It has been supporting youngsters for more than two decades by providing a safe space where they can come together to learn life skills, make friends, work on personal development, and much more.

Previously, the group based in West Thomson Street received £117,093 from the council to provide these services.

A 25 per cent cut to this funding works out to around £29,273.

Gillian Kirkwood, chief executive officer at the charity, previously told the Post that the decision “was avoidable” and “short-sighted”.

She said: “We are extremely disappointed at the outcome of the budget meeting and the impact this will have on the services and support we can offer in the future.

“With one in four children in West Dunbartonshire living in poverty, our support is a lifeline to so many.

“Every day we see the impact that the cost of living crisis and poverty is having on those who access our services.

“The Y Sort It budget cut was avoidable. There was no opportunity for consultation or discussion.

"Y Sort It’s approach to youth work has led to a significant reduction in youth mental health issues, youth offending, and substance misuse whilst leading to increased attainment, and alleviating the impact of child poverty for many of the young people we support.

“The budget cut is short-sighted, as every year we save the local council and statutory services money.

“Now we will need to reduce the service and support we offer at a time when we are needed more than ever by children, young people, and families.”

A WDC spokesperson previously said: “Due to the challenging financial landscape the council is operating in, with a £17million budget shortfall for 2024/25, it is not possible to continue delivering services or funding in the same way.

“We value the work Y Sort It undertakes in our communities and are continuing to provide funding of £87,820 to support their work in 2024/25.

“In addition, this group may be eligible to access assistance through the new Success Funds which are being established to support communities.”