There is still time to have your say on the future of Derbyshire’s youth services.
Derbyshire County Council is running a ten week consultation – ending March 18 – to ask local people, youth activity users, staff, and partner organisations to give their views on proposed changes to the way youth activities are offered.
Under the proposals the authority would:
* continue to provide professionally qualified youth workers to support vulnerable young people and families facing difficulties
* no longer provide front-line activities for teenagers and it would close youth clubs and the mobile service
* support voluntary, independent and community groups which already provide most activities
* set up a Youth Activities Grants scheme to support new projects, voluntary, community and independent groups
* review youth centres to transfer or dispose of the buildings.
Since the consultation began on Monday January 9, 1,900 people have responded.
But Cllr Barry Lewis, Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for young people, is urging even more young people and residents to come forward.
He said: “We’ve had a good response so far but we want to local people to take part to get as many perspectives on our proposals as possible.
“The way youth activities are delivered has not been changed for decades.
“An average of 13 youngsters attend each of our youth service sessions, with almost none of them open at the weekend and with only limited access during school holidays.
“They’re expensive to run and only 28 per cent of 13 to 19-year-olds have made contact with the service – which doesn’t mean they have regularly used what is on offer.
“Only about six per cent of Derbyshire’s entire 67,000 population of 13 to 19-year-olds have used the service’s youth clubs for more than ten hours in a whole year, which equates to just 3,717 youngsters.
“One per cent of the youth population had been in contact with our mobile provision, for more than 10 hours – which equates to just 963 young people.
“Many of our activities are supported by our full-time professional youth workers who would still be working with youngsters under our proposed changes.
“We want to make the most of the money we spend and offer support to the county’s main provider of youth activities – our partners in voluntary sector and community groups.”
To take part in the consultation visit www.derbyshire.gov.uk/youthservice2012. To request a paper copy of the consultation questionnaire contact Bish Sharif on 01629 535700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org