Uttlesford panel will help make youth service decisions

DECISIONS on youth provision in Uttlesford will be made with the help of a consultative panel to ensure “vital services are not lost”.

Essex County Council (ECC) has reviewed its Integrated Youth Service and is looking to trim �7million a year off the service by providing a ‘more focused, fit-for-purpose’ delivery model.

That has led to concerns from teenagers, youth workers and councillors over the future of provision in the district, and raised doubts over the future of both Dunmow and Saffron Walden’s youth centres.

However, the council wants to ensure that “local knowledge and preference” is brought to its attention before any decision is taken, thus identifying key services and co-ordinating delivery.

A spokesman said: “In line with our corporate priority ‘giving people a greater say and a greater role in building a safer and stronger communities’, Cllr Stephen Castle, cabinet member for education, wishes to set up a consultative body to make recommendation on youth provision.”

The spokesman said the outlined purpose of the panel will be:

• To act as champions for young peoples’ services

Most Read

• To act as consultative bodies to support the development of new provision; provide guidance on the types and quality of provision as required and influence the use of existing youth work resources.

• To support partners and key stakeholders in the identification of priorities, suggesting key activity and supporting its development.

The panel will make recommendations to the responsible cabinet member before a final decision is made.

Its responsibilities will be to identify the needs of young people in the area, setting priorities to fill gaps in the current provision, and to build relations with voluntary and private sector partners to attract new provision and funding opportunities.

The panel will also provide a forum for debate, as well as making recommendations on how services for young people might be delivered and co-ordinated.

Membership will consist of local county councillors, an elected member from Uttlesford District Council, a district council officer, one youth service officer, one Young Essex Assembly repesentative.