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Cabinet Decision: 16th December 2010
Title of Item/Report
Youth Services - Report of Children and Young People Select Committee
Record of the Decision
Members considered a report that presented the findings of the EIT Youth Service Review undertaken by the Children and Young People Select Committee between February and November 2010.

The review formed part of a three year programme of EIT (Efficiency, Improvement and Transformation) reviews covering all services provided by the Council. The programme aims to ensure that all services are reviewed in a systematic way to ensure that they are provided in the most efficient manner, provide value for money and identify opportunities for service improvements and transformation. The Select Committee review examined the Council’s universal youth services. The overall aims of the review were:

To identify options for future strategy/ policy/ service provision that will deliver efficiency savings and sustain/ improve high quality outcomes for SBC residents. Specifically:
o Proposals on level of service to be provided taking into account the views of young people
o Identification of gaps in service and recommendations for addressing these
o Identification of resources to deliver myplace

The Committee concluded that there was wide variation in the quality of youth club facilities and attendances. The Committee also acknowledged that some clubs represented better value for money than others. There were also gaps in provision with uneven spread of provision across the week and a lack of provision at weekends. The Committee concluded that there was a compelling argument to reconfigure the service around a smaller number of quality centres. To assist in the reconfiguration, the Committee had developed a matrix which took account of attendance, footfall, footfall costs, potential reach and deprivation giving clubs a ranking according in individual factors and an overall ranking. The Committee had recommend that Cabinet take the matrix into account in making decisions about service reconfiguration in addition to any other relevant factors including available finance, geographical spread and wider youth provision.

The Committee also supported a “mixed economy” approach involving the statutory and third sector, as they believed that this had demonstrated an effective model in a range of settings. The Committee concluded that officers pursue opportunities for increased collaboration with the third sector of private sector in providing universal services.

The Committee also noted that targeted activities were demonstrating better value for money in terms of footfall and outcomes and concluded that it was important to protect delivery of targeted youth services taking into account the impact of these services.

Following consideration by Cabinet an action plan would be submitted to the Select Committee setting out how approved recommendations would be implemented detailing officers responsible for action and timescales.

RESOLVED that:-

1. taking into account any emerging Government guidance and the impact of the comprehensive spending review, and recognising that targeted youth services have proven to be more effective and have provided better value for money and more positive outcomes for young people than universal youth services, delivery of targeted youth services be prioritised over universal services to ensure that this success is further enhanced.

2. recognising that there are currently a large number of universal youth club settings with several of these being poorly attended:

a. the provision of universal youth services be reconfigured around a smaller number of high quality settings; those settings to be identified through the application of the matrix at Appendix 11 to assess sustainability based upon factors which include attendance, footfall, footfall costs, potential reach and deprivation;
b. final decisions on service reconfiguration be made by Cabinet taking the matrix into account but also other relevant factors including available finance, geographical spread and wider youth provision;
c. prior to implementation, Children and Young People Select Committee be consulted on the service reconfiguration at its meeting on 9 March 2011 (or earlier if appropriate), together with an action plan as part of the monitoring of the review.

3. premises/ lettings arrangements for youth activities be reviewed by the Asset EIT review to ensure they provide value for money.

4. contractual arrangements for youth services staff are reviewed in order to ensure consistency across the service, to implement single status and to move to more substantive contracts (i.e. increased hours) for youth service staff.

5. officers pursue opportunities, where appropriate and subject to funding, for increased collaboration with the voluntary and community sector and private sector in providing universal services, including consideration of commissioning opportunities.

6. serious consideration be given to pursuing a more flexible use of the capital funding for myplace to support youth service delivery across the Borough, if this is allowable under the terms of the agreement and further advice from Big Lottery and DfE and that, in the absence of this, the Select Committee recommends that the myplace development should not be progressed as it is presently planned.

7. the future involvement of young people on the Children and Young People Select Committee be formalised through the introduction of appropriate engagement mechanisms to be introduced for the 2011/12 municipal year.

8. subject to safeguarding issues, officers explore the further use of social media to engage with young people.
Reasons for the Decision
To ensure that the Councils’ universal youth service is delivering high quality, value for money services.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
None
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Councilor Lupton declared a personal non prejudicial interest in the item entitled EIT Review - Youth Services as he served on the Elmwood Community Centre Management Committee.

Councilor Laing declared a personal non prejudicial interest in the item entitled EIT Review - Youth Services as he served on the Grangefield Community Centre Management Committee.

Councillor Mrs Beaumont declared a personal non prejudicial interest in the item entitled EIT Review - Youth Services as she served on a Community Center Management Committee.

Details of any Dispensations
Not applicable
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Midnight on Friday 24 December 2010
Attachment

Date of Publication: 20 December 2010


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