Rural area will benefit after Shropshire councillors agreed to provide an extra £40,000 for youth services.

Members of the Cabinet voted yesterday to make the changes after a public consultation in which 97 per cent of respondents said they did not agree with the proposed budget cuts from £234,950 to £135,000, while 95 per cent saying they disagreed with the removal of rural considerations from the funding formula.

Instead they will be cut to £174,500 with many rural LJCs including Ellesmere, and Wem and Shawbury being able to access up to £3,000 from a centrally-held rural grants pot worth £33,000.

Ellesmere will also receive a budget of £4,000 on top of the rural pot, while Wem and Shawbury will receive £8,000.

George Candler, director of Place and Enterprise, said: "The consultation feedback demonstrated that there was strong support for the council continuing to fund youth activities in rural areas, keeping rurality considerations in the funding formula and continuing to offer grants to small voluntary clubs.

"The feedback also showed that while respondees would like to see all the council’s funding for youth activities continue at current levels, they particularly would like

funding in rural areas to be protected."

Meanwhile, Whitchurch LJC will see its budget reduced from 15,580 to £14,500.

LJCs in Shrewsbury, Oswestry and Market Drayton have also seen a reduction but those town councils have previously indicated that they would consider financially supporting youth activities.

Leader of Shropshire Council, Peter Nutting, told the Cabinet meeting: "The larger towns by the way they are geared are able to raise funds more easily than some of the very rural parishes, that is the reality, and most of those town councils are away that needs to be done and are happy to detail it within their precepts for the coming year."