A LIBERAL Democrat peer has used a visit to York to add her voice to calls to save the Castlegate youth advice centre.

Baroness Joan Walmsley, who is vice chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Children, was in the city on Friday, and heard about the campaign to save what she called a "visionary" centre.

She said: "I got an indication of the strength of feeling about the place from a petition signed by 1,000 people."

A centralised service which offers young people advice on many areas and can make sure people get the help and support they need at an early stage, was not often found, she added.

She said: "It's an awfully good thing when young people's services can work with each other and understand each other.

"We all understand that councils have to make some savings, and the Liberal Democrats councillors are councillors as well and have to take responsibility for that.

"But it is really important that we use evidence based policy, and that policy makers are open minded.

"There may be other options to save the centre, but they are not going to found if we rush things."

She said her party had gone into Government to repair the damage done to the economy by the previous Labour administration.

She said: "We did it for the good of the country, and we knew the risks to our party, and those risks have come to pass in a number of seats we have lost recently. But we still think it was the right thing to do."

Speaking with Baroness Walmsley, the Liberal Democrat group leader on City of York Council, Cllr Keith Aspden, said his party intended to throw everything it could to save the Castlegate centre.

The closure plan will be discussed at a Corporate Scrutiny meeting on Friday, October 31, and could then be sent back to cabinet.

Cllr Aspden said: "If it is sent back to the Labour cabinet, the ball will be in their court and it will be up to the cabinet to show they are willing to listen."

If the cabinet refuse to reconsider the plans, Cllr Aspden said opposition groups might call a full meeting of the council to vote on the plans again.