Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 5th August 2010
Title of Item/Report
Interim Report from Children and Young People Select Committee - Youth Services Review - Myplace
Record of the Decision
Consideration was given to a report that presented interim comments from the Children and Young People Select Committee on Myplace in advance of the Committee reporting to Cabinet in December on the outcome of the Youth Services Review.

It was explained that in March 2009, the Council had been successful in a bid to the DCSF for Myplace funding to build an iconic 5 million youth facility on a site off Norton Road. The building was to provide the central hub for the delivery of a wide range of facilities for young people aged 11 - 19 years to access services and activities to enhance their personal, educational and social development seven days a week. The funding to be received was for the capital costs for the project only. Previous Cabinet decisions had confirmed that the revenue costs of approximately 277,000 would need to be identified from within existing Youth Service budgets. The co-location of the new North Shore Health Academy was linked to further opportunities for young people and the sustainability of Myplace.

Alongside the Myplace project, the Children and Young People Select Committee commenced a review of Youth Services in December 2009. The review was focusing on the universal youth services which were delivered primarily through the Council's 24 Youth Clubs. In reviewing youth services, the Committee had needed to have regard to the development of Myplace alongside other youth provision. It was noted that the Select Committee was scheduled to report on the outcome of its review and present recommendations to Cabinet in December 2010.

Whilst the Committee had not completed its review, a number of concerns had emerged regarding the Myplace project:

As part of review Councillors had undertaken site visits to all of the Council's Youth Clubs. During the visits young people attending local clubs had commented that they would want to see the continuation of local provision and Members of the Committee were concerned that the annual revenue contribution of 277,000 for the Myplace development might be to the detriment of such provision.

Initial feedback from the voluntary and community sector had also revealed that there were concerns that the project would result in cuts in the youth service elsewhere, it was not what young people want, the location was a concern, travel was an issue and some young people were very territorial and might not travel to the venue.

At the meeting of the Children and Young People Select Committee on 14 July 2010, the Committee was also advised that the plans to develop the site for the new North Shore Health Academy under BSF were to be reviewed. The Committee felt that this recent development meant that the Myplace project on the proposed site was no longer a viable option owing to the timing of the contract for letting Myplace, uncertainty around the academy scheme, shared infrastructure issues between the academy and Myplace and loss of linkages for young people between the academy and Myplace.

Given the other concerns already vocalized and financial pressures, the Committee recommend to Cabinet that, in the light of uncertainties around the future of the North Shore Health Academy and the pressure on youth service provision, the Council writes to the Department for Education and the Big Lottery asking whether the capital funding for Myplace could be used more flexibly to develop services and facilities for young people across the Borough.

It was confirmed that approval of the Select Committee's recommendation would solely allow the question, as detailed, to be asked of the Department for Education and the Big Lottery. Specific decisions on how such capital funding would be flexibly used, should a positive answer to the question be received, would be taken in the future and recommendations for such expenditure may come from the Select Committee's Review of Youth Services.

Members referred to the lack of youth provision in the North of the Borough. It was noted that the Select Committee was attempting to identify areas where gaps existed and identify any initiatives to fill those gaps.

RESOLVED that in the light of uncertainties around the future of the North Shore Health Academy and the pressure on youth service provision, the Council writes to the Department for Education and the Big Lottery asking whether the capital funding for myplace can be used more flexibly to develop services and facilities for young people across the Borough.
Reasons for the Decision
To take account of uncertainties around the future development of the site for the new North Shore Health Academy and other concerns highlighted by the Children and Young People Select Committee.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
None
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
None
Details of any Dispensations
Not applicable.
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
By no later than midnight on Friday 13 August 2010.
Attachment

Date of Publication: 09 August 2010


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