Labour Councillors are calling for Westminster City Council to seek the views of young people before making any decisions on the future of youth provision. In a motion to the Council meeting on Wednesday 11th November, Labour Councillors say:
“The Council notes the contracts for commissioned youth services are due for renewal in 2016.
The council believes in the value of comprehensive and accessible youth provision and the key role of a professionally co-ordinated youth service throughout the City, supported by statutory and voluntary youth facilities.
Members note that such provision supports government priorities in seeking a greater engagement with young people in cultural and sporting activities.
Members further note the value of investing in youth provision to help respond to the Prevent duty included in Section 26 of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 – underpinning initiatives that discourage gang activity, as well as tackling radicalisation.
The Council urges the Cabinet Member and the relevant Policy & Scrutiny Committee(s) to rapidly set up Westminster wide Task Group(s) to seek evidence from all interested stakeholders/residents and local young people; and to propose a set of recommendations on developing facilities for pre-teenage; 12 -18 year olds and post-secondary school age groups
Membership of the Task group(s) should look to accommodate existing/past members of Youth Centres; sports clubs, sixth formers and young people who have experience of current provision and support services (including employment and further education advice). RSLs and voluntary sector agencies investing in support for young people should also form part of any Task Group(s) . The task group should be asked to produce a report of their findings in early 2016, prior to any further changes to the commissioning of services.”
The motion will be moved by Councillor Tim Roca, Harrow Road Ward, and seconded by Councillor Rita Begum, Maida Vale Ward.