The Local Government Association has warned that many urban centres are turning into blighted 'ghost towns', as the recession forces more and more businesses to close their doors.
"All the clubs have been closed down," said LGA chairman Margaret Eaton. "Bands won't play no more."
Councils fear that the run-down streets of their once-prosperous shopping centres - now rapidly degenerating into dispiriting vistas of boarded-up shops - will become a focus for anti-social behaviour.
"Too much fighting on the dance floor," she explained. "Do you remember the good old days before the ghost town? We danced and sang and the music played inna de boom town. Why must the youth fight against themselves?"
The LGA is calling on the government to relax planning regulations, allowing councils to open community centres and one-stop centres where disaffected young people can while away a pleasant hour or two searching for mythical jobs.
"Government leaving the youth on the shelves," claimed the LGA. "No job to be found in this country. Can't go on no more, the people getting angry."
The Nev Filter tracked down the youth and his shelf, and asked for his opinion. He suggested that perhaps the councils might have given some thought to the dangers of urban blight while they were cheerfully banking the huge fees which accompanied planning applications for the vast, characterless shopping malls which have sprung up all over the country.
The youth might also be slightly less angry, he went on to say, if the councils had not been quite so keen to dispose of school playing fields in the midst of residential estates of their towns and cities, just so Tesco and Sainsbury's could vomit forth yet more hideous, soul-destroying sheds in their unrelenting efforts to force every other retailer out of business.
(with apologies to The Specials)