Report of the Head of Participation
(Members agreed to discuss Agenda Item 3 of the Education, Skills and Culture Scrutiny Committee, in line with Agenda Item 4 of the Education, Skills and Culture Cabinet Board)
Members were provided with an update on the Mapping of Current
Youth Service Provision and information on the (SHEP) Programme. Members were also updated on the Local Authority Youth Service.
Members asked what the criteria was for choosing the locations for the Community Based Youth Clubs within Neath Port Talbot. Officers explained that areas were chosen on population and what facilities are available. Officers added that liaisons take place with the Community Safety Partnership and the Police to ensure that areas of anti-social behaviour issues were considered. Members noted that due to the budget restraints the numbers of youth clubs had decreased.
Members queried whether in the event that a youth club had low attendance could the club be relocated to an area with more demand. Officers explained that a recent survey of young people had identified their preference for youth cafes, as a result a pilot was being undertaken in Bryn and Cwmavon Wards which had the highest attendance at youth clubs. Monitoring of the current provision would take place to ensure that youth clubs were utilised to their full potential, but due to the budget restraints there was no funding available to provide additional youth clubs.
Members highlighted that on page 26 of the report the table did not include any information on the number of staff in the youth clubs. Officers informed the Committee that the information would be circulated to them.
Members asked whether the Youth Clubs were managed by a Youth Leader. Officers confirmed that they were managed by qualified Youth Leaders
Members asked whether youth clubs took place during term time. Officers confirmed that youth clubs only took place during term time; however Officers did search for funding to provide youth clubs outside of term time.
Members highlighted additional activities that took place within the Aberavon Ward such as Kidzsport and Bulldogs Boxing Club. Members asked if there was an opportunity to arrange transport for youth clubs to be accessed by areas that did not have any provision. Discussion took place on the need for either a one day inquiry or a Member Task and Finish Group to look at Transport options. Officers explained that transport was provided previously but was very staff intensive so was not cost effective.
Members also queried whether other transport options could be considered, for example using school buses. It was also suggested whether there was an opportunity to use community transport. Officers agreed to investigate other options and bring a report back to Members for consideration at a future date.
Discussion took place on the opportunities that partners could offer in joint working by running a youth club by sharing staff resources.
Members asked whether grant funding from Welsh Government would continue. Officers explained that they were still awaiting confirmation. Welsh Government had indicated that funding would be allocated, but would have to meet certain criteria, for example the monies would have to support homeless young people and young people with mental health issues. Officers added that European funding would be available until 2020; however officers were looking to extend that funding until 2022.
Discussions took place regarding the financial implications in increasing the youth service provision, which was not possible in the current economic climate. Members were advised that the only option would be to relocate the current levels of youth provision or to change what provision was provided as previously discussed in relation to the Youth Cafes.
Members requested that a report be brought back on the outcome of the pilot being undertaken in Cwmavon and Bryn. Thereafter, Members to consider how they want to proceed with this information.
Following Scrutiny, the report was noted.