Services for young people. Volume 3, Additional written evidence

Document type
Corporate author(s)
Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons. Education Committee
Date of publication
23 June 2011
House of Commons papers, session 2010/12; HC 744vw
Children and Young People
Social welfare
Material type

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Local authorities have a duty to provide sufficient educational and recreational leisure-time activities for young people. The report disagrees with the Government that public spending of around £350 million a year on youth services in England equates to ‘large slugs of public money’, and congratulates the sector for its long-standing dexterity in making limited resources go a long way and for continuing to support young people despite reliance on a patchwork of different funds. The report acknowledges that there have already been very significant, disproportionate cuts to local authority youth services, ranging from 20% to 100%. In this context the committee comments that the Government’s lack of urgency in articulating a youth policy or strategic vision is regrettable. In the current financial climate, youth services cannot hope to be immune from public spending cuts. It is concluded that there is scope for greater utilisation of other sources of funding, including philanthropic and charitable funds and private sector investment, although these cannot replace entirely a shortfall in public funds. The committee supports the broad principle that local authorities should primarily become strategic commissioners rather than simply the default providers of youth services. However, local authorities will need to consider radical options if savings are to be made by commissioning, given that many services are already delivered by the voluntary sector.

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