Report of the Corporate Director, Department for Children and Education is circulated.
The views of a Rapid Scrutiny exercise to be held on 9 September 2011 will be circulated.
Cllr Lionel Grundy, Cabinet member for Children’s Services presented a report which proposed a revised 11 to 19 Commissioning Strategy. The Strategy had been developed by Wiltshire Children’s Trust Partnership which brought together all agencies working with children and young people. The Strategy would also ensure the best use of overall resources available to support young people within Wiltshire, ensuring there were no gaps or overlaps in provision.
The Partnership was seeking endorsement of the Strategy by this Council.
The Strategy and the report presented outlined the strategic direction for reshaping youth services in Wiltshire and for making savings (£450k in 2012/13) from current expenditure on youth work provided by the Council’s Youth Development service.
The suggestions for reshaping the Youth Development service that were consulted on were namely, testing the market to assess whether there could be an alternative provider for youth services; developing local partnerships with the voluntary sector; closer alignment with campus developments and reduced reliance on use of the existing 24 dedicated youth centres.
Cllr Grundy reassured Cabinet that Wiltshire would continue to provide open access youth work in all community areas. There would be a move towards focussing more Council resource on one to one targeted work with young people where it was needed. Youth advisory groups would be implemented in each area with links to Area Boards to look at the needs of young people. There would be greater use of volunteers in running open access youth work who would always work alongside qualified staff.
The necessary financial savings would be made through a mixture of income generation, from centrally held budgets and open access youth work staff. It was noted that discussions with the Deputy Chief Constable confirmed that the Police were very supportive of the Strategy as a whole and for the proposed changes to the Youth Development service.
Cllr Richard Clewer explained the consultation undertaken and feedback received. He was clear that no youth centre buildings would close as a result of the proposals put forward for re-shaping the Youth Development Service.
The report of the Rapid Scrutiny Task Group held on 9 September 2011 to consider the Strategy in detail for recommendation to this Cabinet meeting, which included a number of recommendations was presented. Cllr Jon Hubbard, Lead member on the Task Group and Cllr Jacqui Lay, member of the Task Group summarised the views of the Task Group.
Cllr Grundy in thanking the Task Group for its work, commented that he was disappointed with its findings given that he, Cllr Clewer and the Service Director for Commissioning and Performance had gone through the report in great detail and responded to all questions and concerns. He did, however, undertake to work with Scrutiny to deliver the outcomes of the Strategy.
That Cabinet agrees the strategic direction and priorities outlined in the 11 to 19 Commissioning Strategy as detailed at Appendix 1 of the report presented, including agreeing the following:
(a) The commissioning priorities outlined in section 6 of the strategy and highlighted in section 15 of the report presented;
(b) The Wiltshire Youth Work Offer for young people aged 13 to 19 also outlined in section 6 of the Strategy and sections 22 and 23 of the report presented and
(c) The savings from youth work services budgets outlined in section 24 of the report presented.
Reason for Decision:
The Wiltshire Children and Young People’s Trust brings together all agencies working with children and young people in Wiltshire. The Trust has developed a commissioning strategy covering services for the 11 to 19 age range. The strategy sets out the strategic direction for services for this age range including services purchased and provided by Wiltshire Council. Wiltshire Council Cabinet is being asked to endorse and approve the strategy including the commissioning priorities.
The 11 to 19 strategy includes plans for reshaping youth services in Wiltshire and for making the savings from the transformation of youth work services noted in the Council’s Financial Plan for 2011 to 2015.