A report to the Councils Executive Board is critical of the cost and effectiveness of youth clubs in Wrexham.
The report states “Youth Clubs are very expensive and provide poor value for money in their current format. This is
due largely to Youth Clubs being restricted to buildings that are often of poor to medium quality, in the wrong places, open at the wrong times and dependent on young people coming to them, rather than services being taken out to those areas where demand or need is greatest. A significant portion of the budget is spent on maintaining these buildings despite only 10% of the 11-19 population are attending them, demonstrating that they are not the activity of choice for the majority”.
The council are commissioning a review as it was revealed that the Youth Service via its Youth Clubs engages with just 10% of the 11-19 year olds. An analysis of attendance shows that on a weekly basis, the Youth Clubs engage with just 5% of this age group.
The total Youth Service budget is £3.5 Million, of this £2.1 million is funded outside of the council via grants, meaning around £1.3 million is funded by the council itself. Thus the £669,559 spent soley on Youth Clubs makes up 51% of the core budget costs, with 1403 young people registered – giving the £477 per head figure.
With the report saying “Young people want provision at weekends, preferably on a Sunday afternoon when there was little else to do and in the evenings at the beginning of the week before homework builds up” the young people will be please to know the council told Wrexham.com they “Want young people to develop the services themselves and get involved”.
The review proposes four youth centres will be retained and become centre of excellence, with others disposed of. The report does state only four buildings are of a ‘good standard’ within the Youth Service which may indicate why four are being retained.
The full report is viewable here and is well worth a read.