A Haringey councillor is donating £1,000 of her annual allowance to support youth services that have suffered years of funding cuts.

Cllr Seema Chandwani, who was elected Labour member for West Green in December, says the Tottenham Youth Fund will provide opportunities for youngsters and help tackle crime that is “damaging people’s childhoods”.

Tottenham MP David Lammy has also pledged to give £1,000 a year to the fund, which was launched this week.

The money will be used to buy equipment for youth centres and fund trips for youngsters, with up to £250 available for each project.

Cllr Chandwani said: “I felt, if I am going to take this councillor’s allowance, I have got to put my money where my mouth is.

“I have been fighting for young people since the funding cuts started. I thought, I am going to be a councillor now – I have got to make a statement. For young people, this is what we have got to do.”

Cllr Chandwani, who has been working with young people since 1997, said it was “shocking” when the council announced a 75 per cent cut to youth services in 2011 following reductions in funding from central government.

She said: “We had a spike of quite violent crime in 2008 and 2009. There were some young people who just needed to be signposted down to the youth centre.

“What we are seeing now is that that level of service does not exist. Crime has spiked again, and it damages their childhood.

“In 2011, there were three full-time youth centres. That went down to one, in Bruce Grove.

“While Bruce Grove is still open, it has been cut in terms of provision – it doesn’t have the things it used to have.

“When I went to visit there a year ago for a project, the pool table was absolutely messed up. There was one pool stick, and it didn’t have the end bit.

“I thought, this is rubbish. I remember phoning David Lammy and saying, ‘What message are we sending to young people that we can’t get new pool cues?’ I wanted to pay for it myself.

“If young people go to a youth centre and everything is broken, why would they come abck to a place like that?”

Cllr Chandwani praised the launch of the Tanesha Melbourne-Blake foundation, which was set up in memory of the 17-year-old after she was shot dead in Tottenham last year.

But she said fundraising efforts should not have to come in response to tragic events such as this and more needed to be done to stop crime from happening in the first place.

Cllr Chandwani said: “These are children who are victims. Tanesha was a really able young woman.

“Even when everything else was working, she happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and was shot.

“The aim of the Tottenham Youth Fund is to have a little bit of an impact.”

The Tottenham Youth Fund, which is being administered by The Selby Trust, is available to young people aged between 11 and 19 years old to support local youth projects and centres.

The first round of applications is open until March 31.

Local residents and businesses can donate via the Go Fund Me website here.

More information about the fund is available here.