SPENDING on youth services in Haringey will be cut by three quarters in the next two years, leaving the future of youth centres hanging in the balance.

The swingeing cuts announced by Haringey Council are like to force many youth centres to shut down and will radically scale back outreach programmes designed to help troubled young teenagers.

The council says it is “working with the youth of the borough” to reshape the downsized youth services department, but it has come under fire from a vocal campaign aiming to save youth centres in Haringey.

In an open letter to Councillor Joe Goldberg, cabinet member for finance, the leaders of the Save Haringey Youth Centres campaign accuse him of ignoring their pleas to protect the service.

They said: “We as young people from your constituency, offspring of your voters, feel extremely let down that you are elected to represent local concern yet have disregarded the voice of local people.

“We feel that the consultation you offered has no sincerity and are very saddened that what we thought was a joint mutually respected relationship is no more than a cheap political tactic.

“We urge you not to play politics with the lives of young people in this borough.

“If you can not do this then we urge you to at least be honest about what your intentions are and allow the people of the borough to decide whether they still feel you are worth their vote.”

The cuts to the youth service - £1.5m in 2011/12 and a further £392,000 the year after – are part of £34m of savings which have been announced by the council.

Also among them is a proposal to cut the number of park maintenance staff in half, which will lead to 19 job losses and a “significant deterioration in the quality of open space”, the council admits.

The axe is set to fall on a host of back-office departments across the council, with a series of mergers and cutbacks being proposed as the authority looks to save £46m from next year's budget.

Cllr Goldberg said he blames the coalition government for imposing the cuts on local authorities like Haringey, and said: “We are being made to cut too fast and too deep – and trying to find these savings has been an incredibly difficult task.”

Leader of the council Councillor Claire Kober added they are trying to avoid “salami-slicing services to a point where quality collapses”, but conceded reductions in services are “unavoidable”.

The final budget is currently being scrutinised by councillors and consultation with community groups is ongoing. Final decision are due to be made next month.