Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Children & Young People Select Committee Minutes

Tuesday, 22nd September, 2009
04.00 p.m.
Lecture Hall, Stockton Library, The Square, Stockton on Tees, TS18 1TU
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Cllr David Harrington (Chairman), Cllr John Fletcher (Vice Councillor Alan Lewis), Cllr Jim Beall, Cllr Mick Eddy, Cllr Maurice Frankland, Cllr Miss Barbara Inman, Cllr Andrew Sherris
Mrs Jane Humphreys, Mark Mason, Peter Seller (CESC); Dave Cook, Paul Diggins (DNS); Graham Birtle, Mrs Tanya Harrison and Mrs Judith Trainer (LD)
In Attendance:
Cllr Mrs Hilary Aggio, Cllr Mrs Beaumont, Cllr Aidan Cockerill, Cllr Mrs Craggs, Cllr Alex Cunningham, Cllr Terry Laing, Cllr Ken Lupton, Cllr Roy Rix, Cllr Steve Walmsley, Cllr Mrs Sylvia Walmsley and Cllr Barry Woodhouse
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Mrs Ann Cains and Cllr Alan Lewis
Item Description Decision
Councillor Beall declared a personal/non prejudicial interest in the presentation on the Youth Service Review due to being Chair of the Eastern Ravens Trust.

1. The presentation be noted.

2. The Democratic Services Officer will provide Mr Seller with the names of all Members who attended.



Members were provided with a presentation which provided a basic over view of the Youth Services/Youth Provision Review.

Members made the following comments:

- Concerned that there was too much emphasis on My Place at the expense of other youth services - Members needed more detailed information on how My Place would operate and the level of voluntary and community sector support.

- As far as possible, there needed to be an equal spread of youth services and provision across the four ISAs.

- Concerned that if the local youth clubs listed closed, young people would have difficulty in accessing alternative provision and, in particular, My Place via public transport, especially for activities in the evening.

- Some young people might be reluctant to attend activities “not on their patch” even where they could be accessed via public transport.

- There had been problems in the past recruiting youth workers during the evenings. Members asked whether this issue had been resolved.

- Robert Atkinson was considered an example of a successful youth club and should be preserved.

- The data base of youth services and provision was not complete and contained inaccuracies. Members noted that some of the provision was not aimed at young people.

- Members asked for assurances that comprehensive consultation with young people had taken place as part of the review process.

- More mapping of existing provision and analysis of need and socio economic factors needed to take place before decisions could be taken about the future shaping of the service.

- Members asked for information on future provision to be presented against access to transport and likely costs.

- It was important to utilise the voluntary and community sector as much as possible as they were able to access funding not available to the Council.

- Youth Services need to be flexible in order to adapt the changing trends and activities which young people wanted to be involved with.

- There needed to be a good range of affordable activities for young people.

Mr Seller responded by advising that he welcomed Members contributions on other facilities not on the list. It was observed that activities fluctuated and so the list was always subject to amendment.

Members were advised that some buildings were no longer fit for purpose and staffing, costs of service and obtaining the services were also important factors. Some services required relocation and support for community buildings was being considered. Members were advised that premises needed to operate on a business footing.

The youth service was provided in 26 different settings and this was unsustainable within current resources and, in addition, many activities were not well supported by young people and therefore the opportunity had been taken to reconfigure services. This was not about reducing frontline services but delivering/ commissioning them in other ways. At one time there was a much bigger emphasis on traditional youth club type provision but times had changed and the service needed to move with the times.

Mr Seller acknowledged that transport was an issue and it required addressing therefore solutions were being considered. There also needed to be links with the EIT review of transport provision.

Officers gave reassurances that consultation with young people had been wide and thorough and full details of the consultation activities would be contained in the review report.

Mr Seller stressed that it was not the intention that My Place would be the only provision for young people within the Borough. My Place would be a vehicle to support other work through a “hub and spoke” model designed to be flexible to changing needs and demands over time. If the number of young people wishing to attend My Place exceeded the provision of the facility, they would consider running area nights or other themed events to address the problem. My Place was not intended to disadvantage other areas in the Borough. A detailed delivery plan for My Place would be included within the final review report.

Members were advised that the Voluntary and Community Sector had been and would continue to be utilised wherever possible.

Members were advised that the information provided had been the basic explanatory information but the full report would be submitted to Executive Scrutiny in October and Cabinet in November.

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