Youth Service Update
The Head of Youth Services Devon County Council reported on progress in developing a Youth Strategy for the City, the aim being to develop a multi-agency strategy to respond to the needs of young people aged 10-25 in Exeter City and its immediate surrounds.
Current work was to establish a steering group of commissioners/partners and for parameters to be agreed. The group would include himself, Dawn Rivers, the full time youth worker for Exeter and representatives of agencies such as the Police and the Exeter Community Forum. County Councillor Parsons had agreed to Chair. The steering group would co-ordinate and research, facilitate consultation in organisations and with young people, identify relevant local partners and agree the scope of the strategy.
Members welcomed progress made and, whilst accepting the need for a small group, asked for appropriate political and geographical representation on the steering group of City Council Members. The City Council Champion of Community Engagement was suggested and further consideration would be given to this issue after the local elections.
Diana Moore suggested a wider reference group of stakeholders, including formal and informal organisations working with the youth sector and for explicit references and detailed mapping of all layers of spaces and facilities provision in the City e.g. arts, sports, open spaces and permanent facilities.
Members referred to the huge range of youth groups in the City, particularly uniformed groups, such as Scouts, Guides, Police cadets and those associated with the military. Kevin Henman confirmed that the Strategy would recognise this diverse provision and the importance of offering a mix of opportunities for young people. He confirmed that Devon VOYC would be included in the consultation process.
He reported that the procurement process for the future delivery of the Youth Service would commence in June with an announcement likely by September. Although the specification would reflect operational similarities to existing, a culture change was expected with a fragmented, asset based approach to be replaced with a more collaborative, holistic and community orientated philosophy.
(1) the update be noted; and
(2) a further report back be made on progress, including details of steering group membership.