Youth service changes in the pipeline

3:30pm Friday 24th January 2014

CHANGES are afoot to the way youth services are run in west Cheshire.

Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) is proposing to reduce its direct provision and encourage partnerships with the community, schools and with private and voluntary organisations.

It is also looking at developing youth zones in towns and smaller communities.

Councillors were given an update about the issue at a meeting of CWAC’s children and education scrutiny committee.

Clr Mark Stocks, executive member for children and young people, said: “We will increase the grants available to private and voluntary organisations by £100,000 to £226,000.

“We will retain some of the youth workers to develop a youth offer in each of the localities and we will see if we can use a youth zone model in each population centre.”

Mark Parkinson, head of service achievement and wellbeing, said: “As Clr Stocks said our intention is not to lose but to be able to reshape the way in which the service is delivered and if possible to actually be able to grow more.

“The original intentions around the youth service were always that by effectively moving the service to be delivered on a locality basis, that that would enable services to be able to grow, because they would be able to access for example grants that the local authority’s just not able to access.”

Clr Nicole Meardon, committee chairman, asked for a full report on the youth service and its future at the next scrutiny committee meeting.

The changes are featured in CWAC's public consultation about its budget.

The deadline for comments on the consultation is February 9.

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