The possible cuts in the Youth Service in Brent are causing great concern. As you can see above there are two alternatives but in essence the first (CYP3) postpones most of the cuts until 2015-17 and the second (CYP17) make them in 2015-16.
The report (below) suggests looking for alternative sources of funding but this would need to be fully explored to ensure that it is sustainable and would make up for the Council's cuts. (Unlikely in my view)
Proposed savings (cuts)
CYP3: The first tranche of savings (£100k) would be achieved for 15/16 by deleting a managerial post and an operational post as well a s reducing the budgets which support activities, such as printing and publicity. From November also the Youth Service is part of a Cabinet Office ‘Delivering Differently for Young People’ Programme. This funds a rapid process of developing a set of options for a new delivery model. In particular, officers have proposed exploring through this programme the development of a ‘youth trust’ for Brent which could access funding which currently neither the council nor Brent’s you h voluntary sector organisations are able to access. This could put Brent’s youth provision on a more sustainable footing, with the ‘youth trust’ able to act as a consortium lead and enabler for local organisations as well as being a delivery vehicle, using the expertise of Brent’s experienced and skilled youth workers. As part of this process, alternative funding sources could be identified to mitigate the loss of services from the budget reduction of £900k in 16/17.
CYP17:This option terminates all Youth Service spend for 15/16. This would involve making all the staff redundant (full time and sessional workers as well as managers). The services terminated would be:
Outreach and Detached Team and Youth Bus – which has a key preventative role in relation to youth disorder and gang violence Poplar Grove Youth Club – year round provision targeting young people from Chalkhill and surrounding areas.
Mosaic LGBT Project – award winning provision for a key group of young people
liable to risk and discrimination Duke of Edinburgh Award – Brent is a very successful provider with a high success rate
Granville Youth Arts Centre – youth arts provision which supports re engagement in education and work
Brent in Summer – the youth contribution to this programme has good attendance
Brent Youth Parliament
Wembley Youth Centre – high quality provision
|Funded with £5m from the Big Lottery - opened November 2012|
The council has a statutory duty to provide sufficient activities for young people but does not have to provide them itself. Some councils have almost terminated their youth offer and simply put a signposting page on their website.
How would this affect users of this service?
Young people in Brent experience high levels of deprivation, high levels of gang and serious youth violence, high levels of youth offending (especially more serious offences), high levels of mortality in the under 17 age group and high levels of sexually transmitted diseases.
The current youth provision is located in areas of highest deprivation and is able to target crime hotspots, including key estates. It also supports young people who have arrived as unaccompanied minors, LGBT young people who are at risk of mental health issues and homelessness as well as young people who are at risk of radicalisation and involvement in gangs. There is significant work with young Afghani males and young males from Somali communities. There are also programmes targeting young females.
Young people involved in our provision, especially the Duke of Edinburgh award, contribute at least 5,000 hours of volunteering to the local community.
The loss of Brent Youth Parliament would reduce young people in Brent’s opportunity to participate not just locally but nationally through the UK Youth Parliament.
Consult on staff reorganisation in December 2014 to deliver savings for April 2015 Options appraisal from Delivering Differently for Young People – February 2015, with report to Cabinet on proposed option for future delivery of youth provision – March or April 2015.
Consult with local communities (especially Brent Youth Parliament) on cessation of youth services/closure of youth facilities – January and February at the same time as consulting staff on redundancy/redeployment.
Approach schools and other organisations for buy back of youth services
Whatever option is taken forward, there will need t o be extensive consultation with young people and service users including groups who may be particularly affected.
Young people, especially those from BME groups, will be disproportionately affected as well as LGBT young people and young people with special educational needs.
Key risks and mitigations
The council will need to be mindful of the November2013 ruling by the Court of Appeal that North Somerset Council acted unlawfully when it cut its youth service budget by 72 per cent. The learning from this is that there must be adequate consultation and consideration (through equality impact assessment etc) of the needs of vulnerable users.
Youth services are essentially part of the council’ s ‘early help’ offer and therefore contribute to preventing young people causing spending down the line through crime, anti social behaviour, social care, poor mental health etc.
There is also potential for ‘capital clawback’ on certain buildings e.g. Roundwood Youth Centre was built with Big Lottery funding.
The Council Equality Impact Screening lists the following groups to have a 'disproportionate adverse impact' From the proposals:
Disabled people, particular ethnic groups, men or women, people of particular sexual orientation, people undergoing gender reassignment, particular age groups and those with particular faiths or beliefs.
The proposal go first to Cabinet on December 15th and then follow the timetable set out in the side panel