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Agenda Item No. 6


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Scrutiny [Learning and Culture]:  22nd May 2018


Report of the Director of Learning and Skills


Reshaping Youth Services


Purpose of the Report

  1. To inform Scrutiny of the consultation outcome on the proposed reshaping of Youth Services prior to consideration by Cabinet.


  1. That the Scrutiny Committee (Learning & Culture) note the outcome of consultation on the proposed changes to Senior Youth Worker salary spinal points.
  2. That the Scrutiny Committee (Learning & Culture) considers the proposals to progress plans for reshaping Youth Services as set out in this report and the Cabinet report of 19th February 2018 and refers the same to Cabinet for their consideration and approval.
  3. That the proposals relating to the Western Vale Integrated Children's Centre (WVICC) as shown in Appendix A be referred to Cabinet for their consideration and approval in order for this asset to be declared surplus and that a Community Asset Transfer opportunity be progressed in due course.
  4. That the proposals relating to the Llantwit Major Youth Centre Building as shown in Appendix A be referred to Cabinet for their consideration and approval in order for this asset to be declared surplus and a new use be sought for this building in due course.
  5. That the Scrutiny Committee notes and refers to Cabinet for approval the proposal that delegated authority be granted to the Head of Finance, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, to secure a new community use for the Llantwit Major Youth Services Building, as referred to in Recommendation 4 above and to progress a leasehold arrangement for this building as outlined within the report. 
  6. That the Scrutiny Committee (subject to recommendations 3, 4 and 5) notes and refers to Cabinet for approval the proposal that the Head of Legal Services be authorised to draft and execute all necessary legal documentation associated with the disposals referred to. 
  7. That a further report be presented to Cabinet and the Scrutiny Committee (Learning & Culture) to provide an update on the progress of the reshaping project in 12 months.

Reasons for the Recommendations

  1. To make Scrutiny aware of the issues raised by respondents to the consultation.
  2. To enable the Council to take a strategic approach to the provision of Youth Support Services for young people within the resources available.

3,4,5&6. To enable Cabinet consideration and approval of the proposals, including the granting of relevant delegated authorities to progress matters, including the authority to dispose of the leasehold interests as described for the two buildings. 

7. To ensure the impact of the reshaping project is formally reported to Cabinet and Elected Members for their consideration in 12 months.


  1. The Local Authority conducted a consultation on proposed changes to Youth Service provision from 20th February 2018 to March 29th 2018. These included a proposal to change the delivery model for Youth Services in the Vale and to cease using Llantwit Major Youth Centre premises to reduce costs.   The reasons for this proposal were set out in a previous Cabinet Report (19th February 2018).
  2. The report highlighted the recruitment and retention issues associated with the current workforce used to deliver universal services. Staff are mainly deployed in youth clubs and projects to deliver the universal offer.
  3. The report also made reference to the disposal of Llantwit Major Youth Centre and the development of community youth groups in rural areas through the co-production of youth support services in partnership with the third sector.
  4. The report included proposals to make changes to the present youth service structure, reducing management and leadership positions in favour of providing more operational staff and creating support for more vulnerable children and young people.
  5. The above Cabinet report and a presentation were considered by this Committee in March 2018 (minute 829 refers). The Committee recommended that Cabinet be requested to forward the final proposal (post consultation) to this Committee for consideration prior to a final decision being made. This was in order to provide detail from the consultation exercise and to enable the Committee to make an informed decision, in particular with regard to potential providers of youth services.
  6. This report therefore provides the Scrutiny Committee with an overview of the feedback received to date from the consultation exercise. The Local Authority has received a high level of feedback from groups and individuals. Appendix B is a summary of the question and answers shared with staff. Individual questions from staff where individuals can be identified have been removed and personal written feedback has been given. The consultation process has proved to be extremely useful in identifying issues which staff have felt as warranting particular consideration. These issues are detailed in the report below.
  7. It is considered that as a result of the consultation, the overall proposals should progress as outlined in the report to Cabinet from February 2018. As such, this report also sets out proposals for how the reshaping of youth services would progress, including the future use of assets in Llantwit Major. The report seeks Scrutiny Committee's endorsement of this as a basis for referral to Cabinet in order for a final decision to be made on the proposals as a whole.

Relevant Issues and Options

Consultation Findings

  1. Respondents were concerned that the reduction in the current workforce would create a large number of redundancies. The changes proposed would mean the staff body rising from 34.55 full time equivalents to 37.29 full time equivalents but does reduce flexibility for staff in relation to the number of hours they can work as the proposals require a greater commitment to full time hours.  Concerns were raised that staff who hold more than one position with the Council and the interpretation of whether or not there is an entitlement to a redundancy payment.  The position varies dependent upon individual circumstances.  The Corporate Management Team have considered this issue and have recommended that each case is dealt with on individual basis.  If two distinctly different contracts are held, redundancy will apply if one post is made redundant. In addition, any staff adversely affected by the change would become at risk and fall under the protection of the Avoiding Redundancy Policy.
  2. Staff queried the changes to senior youth worker rates of pay. Within the proposal the senior youth engagement workers would be on JNC 16 instead of JNC 17 at present. Upon reflection and after the input of staff it is proposed that the current grade of pay be retained within current budget. 
  3. Respondents also queried how the current hours of delivery by part time staff were comparable to the direct delivery within the proposed new model of delivery. The following paragraphs explain the numbers of staff and hours available currently. They go onto to compare the proposals new structure and the increase of hours and the greater flexibility the service would have in its delivery of services.
  4. The current universal youth service budget provides for 61 part time contracted staff. There are currently 52 staff actually in place. There are 9 vacancies.
  5. In any working week part time staff should cover 180 hours across the county in all provisions. In any working academic year this should equate to 6660 hours. Actual delivery with vacancies is 165.5 hours per week.  This equates to 6123.5 hours per annum.
  6. This is resulting in 536.5 hours lost due to vacancies and special leave. In addition over the last two years 100 days have been lost to sickness absence.
  7. In comparison the current 23 grant funded targeted staff are contracted to deliver 615 hours per week. Actual delivery is 631 hours per week.  The direct contact per annum hours are 28,580, under the proposals this will grow to 35,016 hours. These posts will support the most vulnerable children and those most at risk.
  8. Under the proposals, staff will be operating in a peripatetic manner. As they are available for more hours per week, they can attend more than one provision in any one shift and be in various locations during the working week. The delivery of youth work will be available in all areas at a level at least comparable with current levels. Under the proposal's we would seek to increase staff hours for universal provision to 9,480 per annum, therefore, increasing the service available. The delivery methods will change but the access to services for young people will remain on a voluntary basis and at the times and locations they prefer.
  9. Provision in terms of curriculum and range of activities will be led by the engagement with young people. Staff will have flexibility in approach and the curriculum offer they deliver with young people. They will seek support from other teams such as Families First wellbeing mentors, who can bring further expertise to delivery and meet the needs of young people, particularly in the areas of mental and sexual health. Staff will also have flexibility to change provision to meet the needs of young people. Delivery of the youth offer may be at differing times and also in holiday periods instead of term time, if requested by young people. We intend to create a pool from the new staff team who will be available to act as cover should sickness or absence occur for any reason.
  10. By increasing community group participation, it is hoped that this will increase the youth provision available to young people. Many respondents and residents in the Vale of Glamorgan had misunderstood the proposals and were of the view that the restructuring would close youth club provision which is not the case. The restructure will provide peripatetic support for all areas of the Vale and support young people throughout the county with an option of growing the provision with community support.
  11. During the consultation, trade unions have contributed to the debate and have been involved with regular meetings between themselves and management. Staff have had individual and group briefings and have been given the opportunity to air views and opinions. Young people from Barry, Penarth and Llantwit Youth Action Groups and the Youth Cabinet have also contributed and made their views known. Members of these groups are also represented on the Vale Youth Forum (VYF). The VYF trustees have not engaged with the consultation.
  12. A number of respondents asked for an explanation of how the co-production model would be introduced.  A detailed plan on how co-production and the support of voluntary groups would work in practical terms was provided.
  13. Respondents were concerned that the timescale for change to a model of co-production was too short. This view was based on the current provision being replaced by a provision run by volunteers.  However, this is not the case, the development of these groups will be an on-going process supported by the local authority staff. No volunteer groups would be left to support young people without the appropriate training and safety checks in place. Youth groups would not be expected to spring up overnight and the Council would only encourage development with professional support. Dependant on the skills and knowledge of the group, this could be a long process before they become sustainable and have a degree of independence and autonomy.
  14. In order to achieve this, further engagement with stakeholders is necessary.  This will involve the Council engaging with local residents, new groups and other national youth organisations to develop appropriate support models for each provision. The Council will have an essential list of priorities for groups to establish themselves and this will be contained in a memorandum of understanding or a service level agreement. This will include:
  • child protection procedures and disclosure barring checks (DBS);
  • roles and responsibilities of youth leaders, committees and trustees;
  • training for volunteers to EWC standards;
  • affiliation to a national organisation for support and guidance;
  • financial management;
  • charitable status; and
  • support with resources from the Local Authority.
  1. The recruitment of volunteers and the needs of the volunteers to be trained and DBS checked is something the Council has treated as a priority in its proposals for restructuring. The Council will provide support for voluntary groups as it has done for many years. The Council also recognises the value of volunteering. Many of the present staff were initially volunteers and have progressed into employment with the Council. The use of volunteers is a key area for development and one which will require an investment of time within the proposed new structure.
  2. The Council recognises that voluntary groups can exist and leaders can be operational without EWC registration training and or DBS checks in place. However, the Council deem this as poor practice and would ensure that they are trained and safe to operate. If we found they were not compliant, for example, with safeguarding and or health and safety requirements the LA would ensure the appropriate action is taken to protect children and young people.

Llantwit Major Assets

  1. In 2015, the Council commissioned the property specialists Jones Lang LeSalle to undertake a review of various Council assets with a view to rationalising these where appropriate. The review highlighted the Western Vale Integrated Children's Centre and Llantwit Major Youth Services building as assets to consider, with the report stating "Circumstances permitting, we recommend that consideration be given to the future management arrangements for the Youth and Community Learning Service in Llantwit Major including the nearby Family Centre". Delegated authority was given to the Head of Children's Services and Director of Learning and Skills in consultation with the Cabinet Members for Adult Services and Children Services and Schools to consider options for the Youth and Community Learning Service in Llantwit Major within the nearby Family Centre, subject to a further report being presented to Cabinet in due course (Minute C2871 refers).
  2. In October 2016, Cabinet considered a report regarding the WVICC and Youth Services Buildings and resolved that a strategy be prepared for the future use of WVICC (including the relocation there of the Youth Services, an arrangement entered into with a nursery provider and a Community Asset Transfer being progressed for the building) and subject to the strategy being approved, the disposal of the Youth Services Building (Minute C3347 refers).
  3. A range of issues have been explored in recent years following the lease for WVICC being relinquished by the previous tenant. Further details can be found in the report to Cabinet referenced in the background papers of this report. The WVICC building comprises a series of individual rooms which have previously been used as a mixture of community meeting and work spaces as well as being configured to provide a nursery facility.
  4. The Community Asset Transfer process has been used for this building to provide an opportunity for a community group(s) to come forward with proposals for the sustainable use of this asset. A Community Asset Transfer opportunity has subsequently been advertised and the process is underway with a report to Cabinet being prepared for consideration in due course.
  5. As described above, the proposals for the reshaping of Youth Services will involve changes to the model of service delivery. This will require the service to maintain fewer "permanent" premises in order to deliver financial savings and become more flexible in terms of peripatetic service provision. It is therefore considered unnecessary for the Youth Services to relocate to the WVICC building. Previous consideration to sub-let part of the building by the Council to a nursery provider will also not be progressed as this is seen to be less restrictive for any community group the asset may be transferred to and could assist in the sustainable operation of the asset by any group should they enter into such an arrangement directly. Research undertaken as part of the previous review of the WVICC with the local community suggested strong demand for the operation of a nursery on this site.
  6. The move to more peripatetic youth services is part of the Reshaping Services project referenced above. As such, the service wishes to relinquish its use of Llantwit Major Youth Centre and deliver more dispersed provision within the area. This may include making use of some facilities within the Youth Centre Building and/or WVICC with the agreement of any new tenants. The service does not require the use of the whole building and as such, financial savings from the running costs can be generated as well as the potential for a rental income for the Council. Subject to any tender process, the building may well provide an opportunity for further community uses to be made of this asset for the benefit of local residents and the wider community. It is proposed that a lease be advertised for the Youth Centre Building. The Council is seeking to maintain the buildings' primary use as a community asset, potentially offering a range of community services to the local community, although other uses, as listed below may well also be appropriate. In accordance with the policies of the Local Development Plan, and to enable the long term viability and sustainability of the building , the Council considers that there is scope for a range of uses to be considered.
  7. Given the close proximity of the buildings to Llantwit Major town centre and its good accessibility by foot and public transport, it is considered that in principle, the former youth centre would be suited to the following business uses:

Health Services


Artist Space

Local enterprise or Office Use and other class B1 uses which can be carried out in a residential area without detriment to the amenity of that area by reason of noise, vibration, smell, fumes, smoke, soot, ash, dust or grit etc.

  1. It should be noted that planning permission would be required for any change of use.
  2. This will enable a wide range of organisations to express an interest and for the Council to determine the most appropriate tenant. This report seeks delegated authority to the Head of Finance (in consultation with the Leader) to complete this undertaking.
  3. A number of informal approaches have been made to the Council in recent months regarding the Youth Centre Building from a range of organisations interested in working to provide facilities which are consistent with the uses described above.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. The proposals will result in some members of the current staff being made redundant. The associated costs are relative to the particular employment circumstances of the employees who are adversely affected. Any possible redundancies will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The Council will follow its Avoiding Redundancy Policy and will make every effort to minimise the risks to staff.
  2. The development of a new delivery model will require an extensive training plan to be established for the development of the new service team. This will also include the development of any community groups. Service managers will need to contribute to these matters and will be heavily involved in these two areas.
  3. Through relinquishing the use of Llantwit Major Youth Centre and ceasing the lease with Penarth Town Council for office space, savings of £32K would be generated.
  4. The service has also reviewed its supplies and services budget to identify areas of cost reduction totalling a further £15,528. The driver for changes to the staffing structure is not to deliver financial savings. However, due to the changes outlined above, a small financial saving of £2,273 can be achieved. £13k will be saved in relation to mobile which is as a result of income generation as well as cost reduction.
  5. In securing a tenant for the Youth Centre building it is envisaged that financial savings will be made on the current running costs as described above. The amount of any rental income will, however, be the subject of the tender exercise. The service may incur an element of cost in securing the use of alternative premises, but this is envisaged to be at a much lower level than the current operating expenditure on the Youth Centre Building.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. The Council is committed to promoting sustainable development and our understanding of our duties under the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act. This proposal demonstrates the Council's approach to sustainable development and the five ways of working introduced by the Act. The proposal seeks to take into consideration the long-term sustainability of the Youth Service. In light of increasing demand, taking an integrated approach to the way the Council operates and the use of alternative forms of complementary service delivery to design joined up services around pupils' needs.  This approach builds upon the principle of prevention as well as demonstrating working with others in a collaborative way. In doing so, the proposal seeks to contribute to the national well-being goals established by the Act, notably a more Equal Wales, a prosperous Wales and a Wales of cohesive communities.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. There are a number of legal implications arising from this project.  Advice is being accessed from the Council's legal advisers as appropriate and this will continue during the course of the project.
  2. The Llantwit Major Youth Services and WVICC buildings are in the freehold ownership of the Council. 
  3. Any Community Asset Transfer progressed for the WVICC building will be prepared and executed by the Council's Estates and Legal Services teams, with the basis for this arrangement being subject to negotiation as part of any CAT application. This would be reported to Cabinet for approval in due course.
  4. It is proposed that a 99 year lease opportunity of the Youth Centre Building will be advertised and any subsequent arrangements executed by the Council's Estates and Legal Services teams. This lease opportunity will be subject to the requirements of Section 123 Local Government Act 1972 to obtain the best consideration reasonably obtainable in accordance with the Council's general fiduciary duty. The opportunity will be on the basis of a full repairing and Insuring lease and would be granted on the basis that the ingoing tenant would be responsible for all repairs, statutory services costs (such as electricity, water etc.), any rates liability, insurance obligations and any and all other outgoings incurred as a result of occupying the building throughout the term of the lease.
  5. It is intended that, if approved, this opportunity will be advertised to secure a tenancy which is consistent with the uses describe in the report as above. . 
  6. Authorisation from Cabinet for the Head of Legal Services to conclude the necessary legal arrangements associated with the above is requested.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. Many young people who use youth support services have significant support from the Youth Offending Team and Children and Young People Services. When appropriate, interventions from these service areas can be incorporated into the provision for the young person.  Individual risk assessments are completed and individual behaviour plans and strategies are produced to mitigate against any reoffending or risk-taking behaviours.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. An Equality Impact Assessment has been developed and will be updated throughout the course of this project.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. These proposals are consistent with the Council's Corporate Plan, Well-being Outcome 3: An Aspirational & Culturally Vibrant Vale. The proposals seek to raise the overall standards of achievement, and will contribute to the achievement of a number of actions contained within the Corporate Plan. These actions include securing improved outcomes for groups of learners at risk of underachievement, increasing the learning opportunities for disadvantaged individuals and vulnerable families, as well as reducing the number of young people not in education, employment or training.
  2. The proposals are also consistent with the Council's Reshaping Services programme which seeks to mitigate the impact of reduced financial resources and increasing service demand by evaluating and adopting alternative forms of service delivery model to protect priority services.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. The recommendations of this report are within existing policy framework and budget.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. The Learning and Skills Directorate have consulted with staff, young people, local members and the youth cabinet, on the proposals.  In light of the concerns raised by consultees, the service has retained the pay scale for the Senior Youth Engagement roles.  Further to this we have not applied the implications of the modification order as there is no clear legal position on its application.
  2. Staff and Trade Unions have been informed of the information presented in this report.  As indicated above, there is a process of ongoing consultation with trade unions and staff regarding any proposal to change operating model and organisational structure.
  3. The Equality Impact Assessment will be updated to reflect the current position and will continue to be developed throughout this project. 
  4. Throughout the process a programme of communication will continue with stakeholders.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Learning and Culture.

Background Papers

Reshaping of Youth Services, Cabinet, 19th February 2018

Jones Lang Lesalle Asset Management Review, Cabinet, 27th July 2015,_agendas_and_reports/reports/cabinet/2015/15-07-27/Jones-Lang-LaSalle-Asset-Management-Review.aspx

Rationalisation of Council Assets, Cabinet, 31st October 2016

National Youth Work Strategy 2015-2018

Contact Officer

Andy Borsden, Lead Officer for Social Inclusion and Wellbeing

Officers Consulted

David Davies, Head of Achievement for All

Evelyn Morgan, Lawyer - Legal Services

Sue Alderman, Principal HR Business Partner - Human Resources

Tom Bowring, Operational Manager - Performance & Policy

Responsible Officer:

Paula Ham, Director of Learning and Skills