Over a year ago Durham County Council invited the trustees of the Youth and Community Centre to submit an expression of interest with a view of taking over the asset of the Youth Centre building and all its liabilities. This was done in June 2014.
On the 13th January 2016 the Cabinet member for Children and Young People submitted a report to describe a Strategy for Youth Support. This is based on the review and the resulting strategy the report sought permission to consult on the following priorities:
1. A Strategy for Youth Support in County Durham.
2. Deploy Council resources according to need to deliver a Target Youth Support Service.
3. Ceasing the existing youth work support grant and the allocation of funding to each Area Action Partnership (AAP) to address local priorities linked to youth services.
The review also considered the existing stock of the six council maintained youth and community centres it is the intention, as part of this strategy, to progress options regarding the potential transfer to local community ownership under what is called the Durham ASK programme.
The purpose of this would enable the Council to realise £116,517 savings at the same time the facilities being retained in the community.
The 6 centres are:- Fishburn Youth & Community Centre, Newton Aycliffe Youth & Community Centre, Peterlee Youth Centre, Seaham Youth Centre, Spennymoor Youth Centre and Stanley Youth Centre
Should the current management groups of these centres decline the opportunity to asset transfer; alternative uses for the centres will be explored to ensure that universal services continue for young people, their families and the wider community.
It is anticipated that this review will result in a £1m savings from the current youth support budget. Given the level of cuts in money from Central Government there will be less money so it is even more important that every pound is well spent.
I can now report that my Board of Trustees are fully committed to ensuring that services in Newton Aycliffe Youth and Community Centre continue and the needs of both the young people and the wider community are met. There are however changes that need to be made to ensure that funding is available, which has resulted in changes to the way we do things, to make those savings (normally called efficiency savings).
Any malicious rumour that readers may hear are totally incorrect and we are not closing any of our services, in fact we will continue to develop and improve what is on offer now. We are just having to deliver things differently and are currently developing a partnership with Fishburn Youth and Community Centre.
We need to engage with the people, and Durham County Council is inviting you to take part in a consultation about the proposals as to improving how Youth Support Services are delivered. The consultation is between now and he 27 April 2016 so we need your views.
The consultation document is available online at www.durham.gov.uk/youthsupportconsult or you can pick up a copy at One Point Hub or the Youth Centre.
It is important you respond to this consultation exercise and if you have any questions please call in the Centre and if I am not available one of the officers should be able to help.
Vince Crosby
Chairman, Board of Trustees
Newton Aycliffe Youth and Community Centre
Tel: 01325 307522
email chairman@nayc.co.uk