William Eichler 02 August 2018

Whitehall spends 95% of youth services budget on 'unpopular' programme

Whitehall spends 95% of youth services budget on unpopular programme  image

The Government’s National Citizen Service (NCS) is only attracting a small number of young people despite hundreds of millions of pounds of investment, local government leaders find.

The Local Government Association (LGA) has calculated that Whitehall spent £634m on the NCS between 2014/15 and 2017/18. This amounted to 95% of its youth services budget.

However, despite this substantial investment, just 12% (93,000) of eligible youngsters took part in the NCS in 2016, while in some areas take-up was as low as 4%.

The NCS is a three to four week course where young people aged between 15 and 17 years-old can live away from home and learn new skills.

Councils have also been forced to cut spending on local youth services from £650m in 2010/11 to just £390m in 2016/17 as a result of Government funding cuts.

This has resulted in more than 600 youth centres closing and nearly 139,000 youth service places lost in the UK between 2012 and 2016.

Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, called on Whitehall to devolve a portion of the NCS’ funding to local authorities.

‘Councils have been forced to cut important services for thousands of young residents in recent years as a result of increasingly squeezed budgets, so it is wrong that nearly all of the Government’s funding for youth services is being spent on a very short programme which attracts only a small number of participants,’ she said.

‘The Government needs to devolve a slice of the funding to councils so they can begin to scale back the cuts to council youth services and provide targeted support to a much wider group of young people locally all year round, whether that is giving them safe spaces to meet, diverting them away from crime or supporting them to succeed in school, training or employment.’

Councils vs network operators? image

Councils vs network operators?

The Electronic Communications Code reduces red tape, but in doing so it cuts the potential revenue property owners stand to make and risks pitting local authorities against operators. Zoe Wright reports.
Highways jobs

Air Quality Monitoring Project Manager

Birmingham City Council
£34,788 - £42,683
Seeking a skilled and dedicated individual with a background in environmental protection and air quality to... Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: Birmingham City Council

Senior Practitioner - Family Support & Protection

Essex County Council
£28500.0 - £50400.0 per annum
In ECC we are "Serious about Social Work". Having recently won the Best Social Work Employer of the Year Award 2018 and been awarded 'Outstanding' by England, Essex, Basildon
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Worker

Brent Council
£35,724 - £38,799 p.a. inc.
Looking for an experienced social worker to join our Learning Disability service based at The Kingswood Centre, rated Outstanding by CQC. Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Inclusive Economy Project Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£40,829 - £47,360 per annum
Looking for people who are clever, curious and compassionate but could come from a variety of backgrounds including... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Museums Duty Manager

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 5 - Starting at £22,494 per annum and rising to £24,789
Chelmsford Museum is seeking an enthusiastic Duty Manager to support the Assistant Museums Manager by providing duty management and key holder resp... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

This issue of Local Government News explores how councils can tackle modern slavery and trafficking in their supply chains, finds out more about Cambridge's first cohousing scheme and the launch of a new project to build a shared service pattern library for local government.

This issue also contains a special focus on children's services and how councils are protecting children following local safeguarding children boards being abolished.

Register for your free magazine