Archive for December 27, 2011


Cash Strapped Council closes Youth House, Redi Centre and cuts Youth budget  

” I’m Bored Guide ” will be published jointly by Redditch student Council and Worcestershire County Council after cutting youth funding by  £55,000

But wouldn’t it be far cheaper to put this info on the Councils website instead of publishing a booklet.

Worcestershire County Council’s Youth Service is continuing to fight boredom by helping produce the latest edition of the ‘I’m Bored’ guide.  The booklet is being reprinted in the new year and the County Council’s Youth Service together with the Redditch Student Council is calling on all local organisations to come forward and join the guide, which provides activities for 11-19 year olds in Redditch.

Following some very positive feedback about the first edition of the directory, the decision was taken to update the guide. The County Council’s youth service is now calling for any activity providers in the area who are not already in ‘I’m Bored’ to come forward and add their names to the directory.

The guide, which is funded by the Student Council, is also an opportunity for Redditch residents to find out what organisation and services are available for young people in the area.

Richard Lewis, Worcestershire County Council’s supporting youth worker said:  “This is a great opportunity for any organisation that has involvement with Young People to be included in a district wide resource. The original “I’m Bored” booklet reached many young people and their guardians from all over the Redditch district. We would love for as many different organisations to be involved in this project as possible.”

Anyone interested in being included in ‘I’m Bored’ should contact Richard Lewis, Worcestershire County Council Youth Support Worker, on 01527 63821 or email rlewis@worcestershire.gov

But wouldn’t it be cheaper to put this info on the Councils website instead

Below is a couple of local newspaper articles of closures recently announced by Redditch Borough Council and Worcestershire County Council.

COUNCIL CLOSURE OF REDDITCH YOUTH HOUSE 

From Redditch Standard

CLOSING Redditch Youth House and slashing funding for youth services could spark a rise in crime and anti-social behaviour it has been warned.

Councillors agreed at a cabinet meeting of Worcestershire County Council yesterday (Thursday) to sell off the Ipsley Street building, potentially raising up to £200,000, as part of efforts to cut £1.4million from the youth services budget.

Funding for youth services in Redditch will also be cut by almost £55,000 and responsibility for spending the money transferred to a new commissioning group made up of councillors and young people with the focus on the most disadvantaged children. Another £100,000 will also be available to support voluntary and community sector organisations working with young people. The changes will be imposed by 2014.

But Charlotte Toomer, chair of Redditch Student Council, said the decision was wrong and would force young people with nowhere else to go out onto the streets.
“We haven’t been listened to. They are forever moaning about young people on the streets but by doing this the situation is going to get worse. Taking the youth house away will lead to more kids on the streets and more crime,” she said.

In a statement read to councillors on his behalf, County Councillor Terry Spencer, who represents the ward the youth house is based in, said it was another blow to the area following the closure of the REDI Centre and he was concerned about its impact, particularly as there had been past difficulties in finding alternative accommodation for community groups which used the building.

“As seems to be usual these days it is those that are most vulnerable that will be affected,” he said.

But Coun Liz Eyre, responsible for children and young people’s social care, said she made no apologies for moving in a direction that would see the limited resources they had, spent on youth services rather than on buildings and overheads. Redditch Youth House costs more than £51,000 a year to run, without staff costs, and would cost £137,500 in maintenance over the next ten years.

Coun Jane Potter, who represents Arrow Valley West and is responsible for education on the county council, said there were other youth centres in the town which were better used and discussions were taking place with nearby Trinity High School about accommodating some of the activities and groups Redditch Youth House currently catered for.

“I welcome the fact we are planning to spend our limited resources more effectively by focusing on services for young people rather than buildings to achieve better outcomes.”

Youth centres based at Arrow Vale and Kingsley College will be handed over to the schools to run on the basis they are still available for use by the community.

REDI CENTRE CLOSURE

Article From Redditch Advertiser

THE final nail in the coffin of a Redditch training centre, which has supported thousands of people over almost quarter of a century, has been hammered home.

At a council meeting on Monday night, it was voted to move the Learndirect scheme from the Redi Centre and close the building in South Street, Smallwood.

The centre provides a whole range of services to anyone living in Redditch who is unemployed or low waged and includes a creche and a cafe.

Almost 75 per cent of the courses currently run, and not funded, will be scrapped, with more than 20 staff members’ jobs hanging in the balance.

Labour councillors tried to move an amendment which would see the extension of the Learndirect contract at the centre until 2011, after which time officers could look at its sustainability, but this was voted out by members of the ruling Conservative group.

Campaigner Justine Bailey read a statement from Redi Centre staff which said: “If you continue closing centres like the Redi, you are excluding parts of the community which will never return to education.

“You say we cannot afford to keep the Redi Centre open, but can we really afford not to?”

In a 1,250-strong signature petition, the Redi Centre Action Group asked the council to continue to fund the centre until further funding was found.

It also stated the council had a “duty of care” to the adult population of Redditch to provide opportunities to gain further skills and qualifications to give better employment prospects.

But council leader Carole Gandy said: “There has been no investment in the centre for years, even though there was an ideal opportunity to do so from 2003-07 when there was money around. This simply didn’t happen.

“We looked at all options for alternative funding, but there is simply no money.

“If we keep this open we will have to make more cuts elsewhere, and there is no guarantee that we will not find ourselves back in this exact same situation in the future. I don’t want to put everyone involved through this again.”

Labour councillor Greg Chance said: “What about the non-Learndirect students? How are they going to be provided for?

“The whole point of the Redi Centre is the unique service it provides – it has never turned people away. That will never be replaced.”

And fellow Labour councillor Bill Hartnett added: “In the 23 years it has been open, thousands upon thousands of people have passed through the Redi’s door, and it has changed their lives.

“We are here to serve the people when there is the need.”

Conservative councillors voted to move Learndirect, Labour voted for the amendment, as did Liberal Democrat councillor Diane Thomas, but the two remaining Lib Dem councillors, Nigel Hicks and Malcolm Hall, abstained from the vote, as they could not support the recommendation or the amendment.

Mr Hall said he did not agree with simply throwing money at the ailing centre and council officers should have looked at working with the third sector a long time ago to keep essential services going and the centre open.

The council currently has no timescale for the relocation of Learndirect.

Advertisements

Worcestershire County Council’s Youth Service is continuing to fight boredom by helping produce the latest edition of the ‘I’m Bored’ guide.  The booklet is being reprinted in the new year and the County Council’s Youth Service together with the Redditch Student Council is calling on all local organisations to come forward and join the guide, which provides activities for 11-19 year olds in Redditch.

Following some very positive feedback about the first edition of the directory, the decision was taken to update the guide. The County Council’s youth service is now calling for any activity providers in the area who are not already in ‘I’m Bored’ to come forward and add their names to the directory.

The guide, which is funded by the Student Council, is also an opportunity for Redditch residents to find out what organisation and services are available for young people in the area.

Richard Lewis, Worcestershire County Council’s supporting youth worker said:  “This is a great opportunity for any organisation that has involvement with Young People to be included in a district wide resource. The original “I’m Bored” booklet reached many young people and their guardians from all over the Redditch district. We would love for as many different organisations to be involved in this project as possible.”

Anyone interested in being included in ‘I’m Bored’ should contact Richard Lewis, Worcestershire County Council Youth Support Worker, on 01527 63821 or email rlewis@worcestershire.gov.uk.