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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection): 13 February 2013

 

Report of the Director of Development Services

 

Vale of Glamorgan Young Persons Substance Misuse Consultation Report (2011)

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To apprise Members on the outcome of the Vale of Glamorgan Young Persons Substance Misuse Consultation Report (2011).

Recommendation

1.             That the report be noted

Reason for the Recommendation

1.             To raise Scrutiny Member awareness of the results from the survey and to advise Scrutiny Members of how the evidence collated will be used to inform future service delivery.

Background

2.             In 2010 the Welsh Assembly Government made £2.75 million available to Community Safety Partnerships across Wales in order to tackle substance misuse amongst people under the age of 18.

3.             The Safer Vale Partnership, along with local providers looked to carry out a needs assessment to look at what gaps there were in relation to provision for under eighteens affected by Substance Misuse in the Vale. There was recognition that partners were unaware of which substances were most prevalent amongst young people in the Vale of Glamorgan. As a result the Safer Vale Partnership commissioned the Vale Youth Service, in partnership with the Vibe Experience, to carry out a street based survey to assess current trends and perceived gaps within young people's services.

 

Relevant Issues and Options

4.             The consultation was designed to meet the needs of the population of the Vale of Glamorgan. A full breakdown of details and findings of the report can be accessed via the following hyperlink [Full Report]. A copy of the executive report is attached. (Appendix 1).

5.             The consultation targeted 11-18 year olds in every electoral ward of the Vale and included the responses of over 650 young people. The highest number of responses came from the Llantwit Major, Gibbonsdown, Buttrills and Cadoc electoral wards.

6.             The consultation employed two approaches; firstly a street based approach incorporating detached youth workers and local mobile resources; secondly a consultation with youth workers via paper based questionnaires as well as structured interviews.

7.             The views of 50 staff members were also gathered, these included Statutory and Voluntary Youth Services as well as housing and community safety workers. Of those surveyed, 79% of young people claimed to have a good understanding of alcohol and its associated risks. This information came from a variety of sources from school and family to peer groups. 21% stated they had little or no awareness of the risks of alcohol.   In addition, 90% of the young people interviewed had tried alcohol, with 25% of that cohort going on to drink once a week or more.  In terms of access to alcohol, 55% obtained alcohol from family and friends with 32.5% stating they either purchased alcohol themselves or via proxy sales. Also 44% of those interviewed claimed access to alcohol was easy or very easy and 33% stated that they had taken part in, or witnessed illegal activity whilst drinking.  In terms of the drinking environment, 72% of young people stated they drank at home or at a friend's house.  In relation to drugs, 83% of young people claimed they had a good awareness of drug use and the dangers associated with it. Again, awareness came from school, friends and family as well as the media.  Cannabis was the most prevalent drug, with 99% having heard of the drug and 237 having tried it. In terms of other drugs, amphetamine and cocaine were the next most prevalent substances.  Amongst staff interviewed there was evidence of a lack of confidence or knowledge of what services were available.

8.             In 2011/12 a further exercise was undertaken to feedback the results of the survey to young people, in line with European legislation.

9.             The findings of the report have been used as evidence to inform the commissioning of a Tier 2 Young Person's Drug and Alcohol Service across Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.  Free training has been offered via Public Health Wales in Alcohol Brief Interventions, this will meet the needs of young people as identified by the survey via the 'Have A Word' Campaign.  Communities First in the Vale utilised the information within the report to design a video, the Impact project, in relation to alcohol misuse amongst under 18s.

10.        The Substance Misuse Education and Advice Service, currently commissioned via Cardiff Substance Misuse Action Fund, is to spread its work into the Vale, ensuring that Youth Workers and those employed by education are aware of how to identify substance misuse related issues.  The results of the survey have been shared with Trading Standards and Licensing partners to inform Test Purchasing operations.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

11.        In 2010/11 Welsh Government made and additional £89,656 available for spend on Children and Young People. This survey was commissioned utilising this ring fenced grant.  The new service utilising this evidence will be funded through the Area Planning Board, Substance Misuse Action Fund and should be operational by April 2013.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

12.        Not applicable in this particular instance.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

13.        There are no Legal Implications as a result of this report. .

Crime and Disorder Implications

14.        The Survey covered both experience and awareness of substances, the subsequent delivery of a tier 2 substance misuse service for under eighteens should result in a reduction in anti social behaviour and alcohol related crime.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

15.        The survey meets the Vale of Glamorgan's Equal Opportunity Policy by eliminating discrimination and promoting equality for all those under the age of 18 across the Vale of Glamorgan.

Corporate/Service Objectives

16.        The information from the survey will be used in order to work within the Corporate Community Safety and Wellbeing objectives.  ‘To make the Vale a safe and healthy place in which individuals, children and families can live their lives to the full’.

17.        To work towards the targets of the Welsh Governments Ten Year Strategy on Substance Misuse, ‘Working Together To Reduce Harm 2008-2018’.

Policy Framework and Budget

18.        This report is matter for consideration and information.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

19.        This report is not ward specific.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

20.        Housing and Public Protection 

Background Papers

21.        Safer Vale Alcohol Strategy

Contact Officer

Deborah Gibbs / Safer Vale Manager / Community Safety

Sean Maidment - Area Planning Board Locality Engagement Officer

 

Officers Consulted

Vale Youth Service - Andrew Borsden

Communities First - Colin Davies & Michelle Sullivan

Legal - Richard Price

Financial - Mike Bumford

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Director of Development Services