Agenda item - Youth Service Update and Use of Housing Revenue Account

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Agenda item

Youth Service Update and Use of Housing Revenue Account

Report of Executive Director for Families, Children & Learning (copy attached).



(1)            That the report is noted.


(2)            That it is noted that a progress report will be prepared for June 2018.



48.1   The Committee considered a report of the Executive Director, of Families, Children and Learning which provided members with an update on changes to youth services including the use of the Housing Revenue Account’s (HRA) annual £250,000 contribution to the budget. The report explained how the money was being spent, projected outcomes for tenants and their families and how performance would be monitored. The report was first considered by the Children, Young People and Skills Committee on 13 November.  The report was presented by the Assistant Director, Education & Skills and the Head of Early Years, Youth and Family support.

48.2   Councillor Moonan stated that HRA money, which was tenant’s rents, was being used to fund the projects. She stressed that it was important to know how this was directly benefiting tenants and their families.  She asked for more clarification as to how the money had been spent.

48.3   In response, it was explained that the total funding for youth services was £759,000 for the year, and the contribution from the HRA was £250,000.  There were also other services that benefited young people that were funded separately and outside that area. Officers would monitor some of the other Families, Children & Learning services for young people who were living on council estates to get a fuller picture of how they were benefiting. Specifically, on how young people were benefiting from the youth grants programme as well as the work that was carried out by the in-house service team. There was some additional funding for the arts award and Duke of Edinburgh award. HRA funding was a proportion of a number of sources of funding.

48.4   It was further explained that housing officers were involved in the specification for the tender and looked at what was required for the tenants. The specification was built around putting more resources into the areas where there was a high density of council tenants.  Outcomes would be monitored, specifically, reducing antisocial behaviour, helping young council tenants getting ready for work, and encouraging young people to engage in decision making for housing as part of the tenants movement. Area based cluster meetings would be attended by Youth Grants Providersto ensure work was joined up, and to ensure that there was value of money for the tenants. Officers were also monitoring the work by using the Aspire Programme. 

48.5   Councillor Mears concurred with the comments made by Councillor Moonan and suggested that a report back in six months would be more appropriate. It was confirmed that the Children, Young People and Skills Committee had requested a report back in June 2018. That report could be brought back to this committee.

48.6   Councillor Mears asked when the formula was devised what thought was given to the people living in the outlying areas who rely on detached youth workers. Councillor Mears referred to page 46 – Equalities. It was a positive piece of work but she wanted to be reassured that these young people are encouraged to be involved with the wider groups in the city to encourage social inclusion.

48.7   Officers explained that the allocation of funding was linked to the spread of council estates across the city in four different areas.  There were some  open access youth clubs which were targeted on the outlying areas, including some services which would be delivered from the Crew Club, in Whitehawk and the 67 Club in Moulsecoomb.  With regard to the final point about equalities it was explained that each of the bids had addressed how the area based groups were going to engage with the equalities groups.

48.8   Councillor Atkinson commented that he was pleased to see Portslade mentioned in the paper, as there had been some serious anti-social behaviour in North Portslade and Mile Oak. He was also pleased to note on page 44 that the YMCA was mentioned as a partner with the Hangleton and Knoll project. Councillor Atkinson stressed that there were a significant number of young people in council tenancies in North Portslade so he welcomed the proposals.

48.9   Councillor Gibson referred to the £250,000 contribution from the HRA and stressed that this needed monitoring. The committee needed clear information on the total number of young people worked with in the grant programme. He had concerns about the detached youth work and lack of detached youth work in his own ward but had been assured that things were in the pipeline that would help. Officers confirmed that the request regarding numbers would be provided to councilors alongside qualitative case studies. It was explained that it would be helpful to look at the issue of detached youth work at the next cluster meeting. [The voluntary sector also had a role to play – delete this line as all the detached youth work is done by the voluntary sector].

48.10  Councillor Druitt welcomed the report. It was wonderful that HRA money supported the youth service and it was obvious that much good work was being achieved; however, the burden for paying for that was falling on the tenants too much. Councillor Druitt considered that officers should look at how the General Fund should support youth services.

48.11  The Chair invited members to agree an amendment to resolution 2.2 as suggested by Councillor Mears, to have a progress report in six months. This was unanimously agreed.

48.12  RESOLVED:-

(1)            That the report is noted.


(2)            That it is noted that a progress report will be prepared for June 2018.


Supporting documents:


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