A guest post by Tracey Huffer, chair of Ludlow Youth Partnership and Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow East. I despair. Expertise, experience and effectiveness matter nothing to a council only concerned with costs. I appreciate that Shropshire Council has to overhaul its youth provision in a time of cuts. But the new budget is only a miserable £470,700 and much of that is set to be pumped into overheads not local youth activities. We learnt last Friday afternoon that we are being given just £10,850 to run a whole range of services across Ludlow next year. That includes employing staff. There is no point pretending that this funding is adequate. It is not. We are going to lose key staff who will be made redundant early next year. These are people who know youngsters and understand their concerns. They are our friends and they are friends of young people. Unfortunately, that counts for nothing in Shropshire Council’s new world where services are commissioned rather than provided. Expertise, experience and effectiveness matter nothing. The council is only concerned with the cost.