Conservative Councillors have welcomed the signing of an agreement between Bradley Stoke Town Council (BSTC), South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) and Southern Brooks Community Partnership (SBCP) that secures annual funding of £93,000 for youth work in Bradley Stoke.
Councillors claim that the new agreement will produce “better value for the money that both Councils put into youth services in the town”.
Under the ‘Commissioned Service Agreement’, £93,000 of annual funding – made up of £60,000 from BSTC and £33,000 from SGC – will be paid to Southern Brooks Community Partnership to provide:
- A full-time qualified youth worker managing and co-ordinating the development and delivery of youth provision in Bradley Stoke, working closely with Bradley Stoke Youth Committee and South Gloucestershire Youth Service
- Four nights of centre-based youth sessions per week for the 13 – 19 age group
- Two centre-based activity sessions per week for the 10 – 13 aged group
- Two ‘detached’ youth sessions per week – where youth workers engage with young people ‘on the streets’
The agreement requires centre-based sessions to be provided for a minimum of 44 weeks per year.
Young people are said to have sat on the panel that chose the provider and quarterly reports will be provided to ensure that requirements are being met.
Brian Hopkinson (pictured above, right), South Gloucestershire councillor for Bradley Stoke Central and Stoke Lodge, who helped draft the agreement as Chairman of BSTC’s Youth committee, said:
“It has been a hard slog for a number of us, but we think we have got an agreement which meets our high expectations and squeezes more value out of the money that both councils invest in ensuring that the town’s young people have access to positive activities.”
“We now have a centre complete with sports hard court facility that caters for a wide age range of local children and young people.”
“We hope to cultivate a safe Youth Café atmosphere where local youngsters can have fun, meet up with their friends, enjoy refreshments and have access to well structured positive activities that help them to achieve their goals in life.”
“This agreement sees regular performance monitoring so councillors and residents can be satisfied that ambitious goals are being achieved.”
Cllr John Calway (pictured above, left), leader of South Gloucestershire Council’s Conservative administration, added:
“More joined-up youth provision in the town ties in well with the council’s plan to roll-out the Conservatives’ flagship youth concessionary travel scheme later this year, which will offer more opportunities for young people to access leisure and recreational activities in the area, as well as employment.”
Not surprisingly, the press release put out by the SGC Conservative Group makes no mention of the “disappointment” expressed by Bradley Stoke Conservative Councillors over the proportion of the overall package being contributed by SGC.
The proposed SGC contribution of £33,000 p.a. was described as “very disappointing,” and “totally unacceptable” by Conservative Councillors at the December 2009 meeting of BSTC’s Finance Committee.
BSTC Councillors also complained that other parishes in South Gloucestershire receive “considerably more per head for youth than Bradley Stoke”. Yate, for example, is said to receive £167,000 compared to the £33,000 for Bradley Stoke.
The failure of Patchway Town Council (PTC) to contribute a promised £10,000 p.a. to the scheme, in recognition of the fact that a number of young people from Patchway attend the Brook Way youth club, has also riled Bradley Stoke Town Councillors.
More information: Youth Clubs in Bradley Stoke (The Journal)
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