Hartlepool Borough Council looking to restructure youth service offer after government cuts of 65% in last 5 years

Council bosses are looking to restructure its offer for teenagers in Hartlepool, focusing on ‘vulnerable’ young people, following government cuts.

Wednesday, 29th May 2019, 2:53 pm
Hartlepool Civic Centre.

A report to go before councillors on Hartlepool Borough Council children’s services committee states the council is looking to alter its youth service offer for those aged 13-19.

It states the restructure will look to maximise available resources to the council to ensure all services are maintained.

Sally Robinson

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The council report states its youth service net budget has dropped from £1,005,000 in 2014/15 to £347,000 in 2019/20, a reduction of 65%

The remodelled offer will still continue to offer the same existing services, including the Duke of Edinburgh Award and Skate Park from Rossmere Youth Centre, along with various open access youth work and special interests groups at youth centres across the town.

The proposals have been developed in consultation with young people currently using the service as well as members of the existing workforce.

The report from Sally Robinson, director of children and joint commissioning services, said the remodelling will maximise available resources and provide education and recreational leisure time activities.

It said: “The council is committed to maintaining an in house youth service and it is necessary to maximise the available resources and remodel the service to provide an effective local authority youth offer going forward.

“The remodelled offer will continue to provide the range of open access services outlined and an enhanced targeted offer to support vulnerable young people.

“The enhanced targeted offer aims to engage more vulnerable young people who do not currently access universal youth provision but would benefit from a range of interventions to improve their engagement and life chances.

“It is anticipated this will increase the number of young people engaged with and receiving support from the youth service leading to improved outcomes.

“If the restructure is not implemented, there is a risk that fewer young people will engage in the youth offer and those who do will not receive high quality and consistent provision.”

The services will include one to one mentoring, group work, special educational needs sessions, LGBT sessions, sport participation and more.

The restructure would also involve creating a single targeted youth support leader, from two existing posts, to oversee the service, with one post potentially at risk subject to a full staff consultation.

However the council report said they would take steps to mitigate a potential job loss, and the restructure would create two additional part time targeted youth worker posts.

It said: “One post may be at risk of following staff consultation, however steps will be taken to mitigate this risk through providing voluntary redundancy and redeployment opportunities.”

Councillors on the children’s services committee will be asked to approve the remodelling of the council’s youth service offer at its meeting on Tuesday.

The meeting will take place at the Civic Centre from 4pm.

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service