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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting:  24 February, 2014

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Children's Services

 

Youth Service Reconfiguration

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To make elected members aware of the requirement to reconfigure the Youth Service to ensure that the Vale responds effectively to the Youth Engagement and Progression Framework.

Recommendations

1.         Members approve the reconfiguration of Youth Service provision into three hubs to support implementation of the Engagement and Progression Framework.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         For the Youth Service to be effective in meeting its expected performance criteria it is essential to ensure that the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of targeted working is embedded in practice and that outcome-based accountability becomes effective in the service.  For these reasons it has been essential to reconfigure services.  In addition to the pressures of WG policy drivers, the service also faces financial pressures.  It is clear an operational solution must be sought which does not diminish universal services at the expense of targeted work, and that funding and premises are used effectively and support the service in meeting its local and national targets.

 

Background

2.         The Welsh Government 'Youth Engagement and Progression Framework' (YEPF) prioritises interventions to support young people into sustained education, training and employment.  Whilst acknowledging that many young people access youth support through universal or open access provision, it is important for the Youth Service to offer both targeted and universal services.  The development of targeted provision and maintenance of universal services would be difficult to address unless current resources are integrated, thereby enabling limited capacity and funding to be used more effectively.  This could be achieved through the development of a Youth Service Hub approach to service delivery.  The proposed Youth Service Hub is defined as a focal point for youth work, a base from which to work, a centre for young people to come to and also the nucleus of youth activities in a community or geographical area.  (Appendix 1).

3.         Many local authorities in Wales have adopted this concept, for example, Cardiff has a similar structure with its Neighbourhood implementation and direction of services. Bath and North East Somerset have a series of Hubs which offer a range of youth provision including universal, targeted, information advice and guidance (IAG) and innovative projects and activities.  They also conduct outreach and detached work and support community and volunteer organisations in working with young people. It is proposed to pursue a similar model locally and it is recommended that three hubs should be established: in Penarth at West House, Barry YMCA and Llantwit Major Youth Centre.

4.         By implementing this change, savings can be realised of approximately £58,000.  It would also be prudent to review services in the rural Vale with a view to further rationalisation of premises costs and to identify if and where additional savings can be made.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.         To ensure the new model is effective, the management tier for the services would also need newly defined roles.  The lead officer should be a Senior Youth Manager JNC Professional 27-30 scale point, with two managers administering the many targeted projects, universal provision and specialist workers.  This would mean the deletion of the Principal Youth Officer role in line with the proposals in the recent Strategic Planning and Performance team restructuring.  The Senior Youth Manager will be directly responsible to the Lead Officer for Youth and Community Learning.

6.         To ensure the service is effectively managed and that external and internal grant criteria are met, current managerial roles in the Youth Service will need to be reviewed.  The service would place a new emphasis on universal curriculum services and targeted and inclusion services.  The Senior Youth Manager would monitor progress of all youth service projects, and also take a co-ordinating role in the Vale Engagement and Progression Framework ensuring quality standards are applied across youth services, outcome agreements are met and that key performance targets are attained.  There are currently three substantive managers in the service and it is expected that the role of Senior Youth Manager will be ring fenced to them.  The new management roles would be Universal Curriculum Manager and Targeted and Inclusion Provision Manager, both at JNC Professional 23-26 scale point (Appendix 2 & 3).

7.         Changes to staff roles and locations are required and changes to working arrangements will be consulted upon.

8.         There are several factors impacting on the time scales to move to a Youth Hub structure.  The Ysgol Maes Dyfan premises will close when the school moves into the Penarth Learning Community in September 2014.  It is therefore proposed to relocate the Youth Club into the Barry YMCA with effect from 1st April 2014 to minimise disruption to users.

9.         Area 41 on Holton Road is currently out of commission due to structural building issues.  The youth provision was relocated on a temporary basis into the Barry YMCA until building issues were resolved.  However the lease on the premises has expired and with growing rental costs and possible building issues remaining, it has been decided to relocate permanently to Barry YMCA.  This is effective from 1st April 2014.

10.      The use of Holm View youth room has been a long standing arrangement with Leisure Services and Parkwood.  There have been historical issues over the use of the leisure facilities and costs in this regard have risen, thus making operations at the centre less cost effective.  The current rental arrangement expires in August 2014.  Youth provision could transfer into Barry YMCA with effect from 1st September 2014.

11.      Cowbridge Youth Centre is used partly by the Key Stage 4 Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) and Youth Service.  The daytime use is by the PRU for 40 weeks per annum and two evenings per week for 37 weeks by the Youth Service.  The PRU contributes £8,000 to running costs but the Youth Service picks up the remainder of the costs, £27,267.  This is no longer a viable option.  It is proposed that the Youth Centre closes and that the timing of this coincides with the relocation of the PRU which is subject to a feasibility study at present.

12.      West House Cottage in Penarth was initially allocated to provide training services (Adult and Youth), youth provision and office space for Youth Officers.  Currently the premises are primarily used for administrative and meeting purposes.  These functions could be transferred to the Civic Offices or another appropriate location, space permitting.  The Penarth Town Council are keen to have a Youth Service presence in Penarth, and have offered rooms at a much reduced cost.  If these offices are shared with ACL, costs can be reduced jointly and ease pressure on both budgets.

13.      The part time staff displaced by centre closures would need to move locations and in some but not all cases adopt new work methodologies to implement the new model of working.  This will include the option to train as mobile/detached or outreach staff and assist with targeted street based activities, and in support of voluntary sector community projects.  There is no intention to lose any personnel via redundancy.  Staff would be expected to develop services and projects in local communities in which they have relationships and to link with specialist services which can be located in any Hub across the county.  This would effectively share the best practice from each Hub over a wider area creating economies of scale and improved outcomes with a reduced budget. This would enable the local authority to further develop voluntary and community services.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

14.      The estimated saving generated through reconfiguration of youth services into three Hubs is approximately £58,000.  Some funding will need to be invested into staff retraining and costs which are yet to be quantified on lease claw back and structural repairs to West House and Area 41 respectively.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

15.      The reconfiguration of the service into three Hubs would enable universal services to be sustained whilst developing more targeted provision as required under the Engagement and Progression Framework.  This approach would result in reduced building costs ensuring that available funding is used for direct service provision.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

16.      None.

Crime and Disorder Implications

17.      Movement of youth centres may initially result in a rise in young people being more visible in public spaces.  However the planned increase in Street Based provision will ensure that this is not associated with an increase in antic social behaviour.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

18.      The mobile provision and further development of outreach and detached services will ensure equality of access to youth support services.

Corporate/Service Objectives

19.      This report addresses Objectives 3 and 12 of the Learning and Skills Service Plan 2013/17:

·               To ensure that learning provision meets changing educational needs.

·               To co-ordinate youth support services to meet young people's needs.

 

Policy Framework and Budget

20.      This is a matter of executive decision..

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

21.      None at present.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

22.      Lifelong Learning

Background Papers

None

 

Contact Officer

Andrew Borsden, Lead Officer for Youth and Community Learning

01446 709148

 

Officers Consulted

Mark Davies, Children and Young People's Partnership Manager

Nisha Shukla, Learning and Skills Officer

Paula Ham, Head of Strategy, Community Learning & Resources

 

Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill, Chief Learning and Skills Officer

 

 

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