New networks for youth services

ELEVEN new networks will take on the mantle of providing activities for youngsters across North Somerset from April onwards.

With North Somerset Council set to make unprecedented cuts to its youth services, communities are being encouraged to come together to keep clubs going.

Among the networks set to be created are ones centred around Clevedon, Nailsea, Long Ashton, Pill and Portishead.

There will also be two networks called the north and mid-rural networks, centred around villages in the district. The mid-rural group will cover the villages of Congresury, Yatton and Backwell.

More than �300,000 will be available from the council to develop the networks, which will then commission activities for children and young people.

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The council’s executive member for youth services, Jeremy Blatchford, said: “Before these local commissioning networks receive any funding they will have to demonstrate how they will implement their local programme and demonstrate that it is viable, and create a strategy that considers innovative ways to plan, develop and commission services on a local basis.

“What is very important is that this isn’t about replacing the youth service, it’s about responding to the needs of many of the 19,200 young people who find the current service doesn’t work for them, and setting up something new which responds to local needs and involves children and young people.”

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From April, enabling grants of �75,000 will be given to existing youth management committees to smooth the transition to the new system.

A further �250,000 will be available to support the new networks.

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