Young people’s centre to close in overhaul of youth services

From the Slough Observer:

A FAILING young people’s centre and youth bus service are set to be scrapped in an overhaul of services to reach more children in their communities and save £250,000.

Proposals have been put forward to shut down Slough Young People’s Centre (SYPC), based in Slough High Street and used by 1,100 young people every year, and the Slough youth bus service.

A review of Slough Borough Council’s Integrated Youth Support Services (IYSS) exposed the services as ‘inflexible’ and ‘not meeting the needs of younger people’.

The new model would see SYPC services provided through community hubs in targeted areas, with voluntary groups taking over supplying services. It would save the council £250,000 over three years with services reaching 2,500 young people every year.

Andrew Stevens, assistant director for community and skills, said: “After talking to young people, they want something local in their community.

“There was a strong perception of youth services taken away [during government cuts last year] and we haven’t put anything back in its place.”

Voluntary groups would provide services in Chalvey and Manor Park, in the New Year, with the programme then rolled out across Britwell and Haymill, Foxborough and Kedermister, Colnbrook, Wexham and Central, and Cippenham within two years.

Mr Stevens added: “The organisations will run a proper youth service, and we will concentrate on targeted support, which is what we are good at.”

He also added the council would offer facilities free of charge for groups to run the programme from.

SYPC would be closed in September next year and the youth bus by April 2014 with the £60,000 saved from closing the centre and youth bus reinvested to create a £240,000 pot to fund the programme.

The council will save money through deleting post which have been vacant since last year.

The review will be discussed at a scrutiny committee meeting on Tuesday, before going to cabinet on Monday, December 10.

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