Hounslow Council


Agenda item

CHAS 535 - Youth Service Review - Consultation Recommendations

Report by Cllr Richard Foote, Cabinet Member for Communities.

 

Decision:

Resolved:

 

That Cabinet:

 

1.    Noted the outcome of the 8 week consultation exercise for the Youth Service Review (YSR);

 

2.    Noted the comments and feedback received from the consultation; and

 

3.    Agreed the recommendation in paragraph 6.10 that officers with the support of the voluntary and community sector and other stakeholders will develop a commissioning model for the youth service. 

 

Cabinet agreed to receive a further report setting out the proposed commissioning model at the next Cabinet meeting in July 2017.

Minutes:

Please see the report by Cllr Richard Foote, Cabinet Member for Communities and the attached petitions (agenda item 3).

 

TofunmiOmisore submitted one of the petitions, regarding funding for Hounslow Youth Council and attended the meeting to speak to it. She advised that she was a member of the Youth Council and had been on the Youth Parliament when the consultation process began. Ms Omisore acknowledged the necessity for the Council of funding cutbacks but had been surprised by the proposed scale. With the overall reduction in services it was all the more important that the voice of young people and other disadvantaged groups be heard and the Youth Council were passionately concerned that they were. They were very interested to hear what the involvement of youth services was to be in designing commissioned services to ensure that the young were not neglected and also, if private providers were to be used, the Youth Council sought assurance that all young people would continue to have full access. Ms Omisore asked what would be the consequences for those who were simply unable to pay for services in future and what cover they might have if charging were to be introduced. She expressed deep concern that the number of people having access to youth clubs, the Youth Council, Duke of Edinburgh Awards etc may be greatly reduced following budget cuts.

 

Cllr Foote advised that the response to the consultation had been extremely impressive, four times higher than the national average. The Council had delayed its response to fully take the consultation into account and officers and members had found the Youth Council to be a very articulate group. They had revised their plans to incorporate Youth Council input but Cllr Foote was unable to give a definitive answer regarding the three youth clubs as the Council only part-funded them. Sadly it was not possible for the Council to do everything asked without cutting resources for other vulnerable groups but everyone would do their best to protect services as far as possible. He noted that the review had involved young people extensively and thanked all those who had taken part for their sense of citizenship, which he felt meant that democracy had a bright future. Michael Marks drew attention to paragraph 6.10 as the recommendations were designed to retain some universal services while still providing savings.

 

Cllr Tom Bruce congratulated Ms Omisore on her excellent presentation and commended her understanding that cuts had to be made. He advised that it was central government that imposed the cutbacks that the Council had no choice but to implement; it was essential that young people be heard throughout the painful process. Cllrs Amrit Mann and Corinna Smart echoed those sentiments, paying tribute to the hard work put in by the Borough’s youth.  Cllr Steve Curran advised that it was unfortunately not possible to give full guarantees about future funding but stated that the Council would guarantee that young people would be fully engaged in all future decisions involving them.

 

Cllr Foote thanked Sandra Morrison and Veronica Watts for their hard work on this matter which had been a huge contribution to the report and for their attendance at every meeting in very difficult circumstances.

 

Cabinet voted unanimously to approve the recommendations in the report.

 

Resolved:

 

That Cabinet:

 

1.    Noted the outcome of the 8 week consultation exercise for the Youth Service Review (YSR);

 

2.    Noted the comments and feedback received from the consultation; and

 

3.    Agreed the recommendation in paragraph 6.10 that officers with the support of the voluntary and community sector and other stakeholders will develop a commissioning model for the youth service. 

 

4.    Cabinet agreed to receive a further report setting out the proposed commissioning model at the next Cabinet meeting in July 2017.

Supporting documents: