Essex County Council (ECC) insists services will be maintained despite slashing its youth budget in half.

The authority is cutting its spending on youth services from £5m this year to £2.4m by 2016/17.

Cabinet member for education Ray Gooding said: "We've saved quite a significant amount of money over the next couple of years, but most importantly we've got a service now which is fit for today and fit for the future."

Full proposals for the future of Essex Youth Services will be presented at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.