Council to discuss £100,000 funding for children’s activity programme in Hartlepool

Council bosses are to consider providing £100,000 to help offer more activities for vulnerable children.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 13 February, 2019, 15:49
Hartlepool Civic Centre

Hartlepool Borough Council children’s services committee are to discuss providing the funds to extend the Children’s 5-19 Activities Grant for a further 12 months.

Council bosses had previously moved to cease commissioning the grant to provide £320,000 savings, deciding to implement a phased reduction with £160,000 provided in 2017/18.

Sally Robinson, director of childrens and joint commissioning services at the council

However council bosses later moved to extend the service for a further six months for the start of 2018/19, costing £64,000, and then voted to extend it again until the end of the year.

The latest extended funding would support an activities programme carried out by the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) Consortium.

The consortium, in partnership with the local authority, has managed the development of the Young People’s Foundation, the organisation designed to work on behalf of the VCS to bring grant funding into Hartlepool to sustain the programme.

A report from Sally Robinson, director of children’s and joint commissioning services at the council, states the funding will help provide opportunities for children.

It said: “Members are committed to providing support services to build better beginnings and better futures for the children of Hartlepool.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

“Providing a further grant enables support to children and young people to continue while further work is undertaken to develop a financial sustainability plan through the Young People’s Foundation.

“If additional funding is not provided for the financial year 2019/20 the support and opportunities provided to vulnerable children across Hartlepool through the activities programme will cease on 31 March 2019.”

The VCS Consortium has been successful in attracting a number of small grants to contribute to the running of services, but have yet to secure funding to support a whole activities programme.

This has been put down to a turnover of staff within the foundation in the past year.

Council bosses also propose as a condition of the grant being provided, VCS provide the local authority with an action plan outlining their transition plan for when the funding will cease in March 2020.

A decision will be made at the Children’s Services Committee meeting at the Civic Centre on Tuesday, February 19, from 4pm.

If the councillors propose to provide the funding the item will then go to the finance and policy committee for final approval.

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service