There are no plans to shut Bruce Grove Youth Centre, a council officer has said.

In a two-hour meeting of Haringey Youth Council at Wood Green Civic Centre last night, Gill Gibson, Haringey Council’s assistant director of children’s services, said there are “no plans” to close the centre.

Ms Gibson was questioned by young people alongside Councillor Ann Waters, cabinet member for families and children.

Approximately 90 minutes into the meeting, Ms Gibson asked young people to put their hands up if they thought the council was intending to close Bruce Grove Youth Centre.

She said: “I want to say very clearly that there are no plans to close Bruce Grove Youth Centre.  It’s a fantastic resource in the borough.”

She added: “We’re beginning to look at ideas and reports and we are at Bruce Grove tomorrow so we can have conversations about how we can do things differently to achieve our outcomes.

“Twitter is a fantastic place but rumours get out. When we have detailed plans about Bruce Grove or any other provision there’ll be a final consultation about those plans.”

When approached by the Independent last week, Haringey Council was unable to say whether it planned to close the centre or not. 

Earlier in the meeting, Councillor Ann Waters had been challenged over the popularity of the centre.

Former youth council member Funmi Abari, 21, said that because the centre was one of two open youth centres in Haringet, it was “full completely to capacity”.

Cllr Waters admitted that Bruce Grove Youth Centre was “working well”, but said that it did not make up the whole of the youth service.

Jodie Pollen, aged 15, also pointed out to Cllr Waters that the council’s corporate plan said the youth centre was “only used by a minority”, which Ms Pollen said was not true.

Cllr Waters replied: “When you think how many children there are in the borough, the youth service is not used by a large number of them.”

Questions were also asked about the salary of Kevin Feaviour, Haringey’s interim head of youth services, with young people asking why interim staff on high salaries were necessary.

Cllr Waters said: “Part of that is because we are having to make cuts in the services.  If you employ someone and then you later have to make them redundant it’s not fair on them.

“All the interims I’ve worked with are certainly not there for the money. They work incredibly hard and are very good and very committed to Haringey.

“It’s not always easy to find good staff anywhere in London for reasons you can guess. People don’t want to move because it’s very expensive to live here.”

When challenged again over the costs of consultants, Cllr Waters said: “Look, I didn’t become a politician to cut funding but that’s what I’m stuck with.

“We have to balance the budget. We want your help to provide a service that meets your needs.”