An Opportunity to Comment on Youth Activity Provisions

Shropshire Council has announced a consultation starting on January 8th, 2014 seeking views on how to best shape and provide youth activities in the future. They define young people as those aged 10 to 19 in general and up to 24 for those with learning disabilities.  Youth activities are those things young people do after school, at the weekends and in the holidays. These include activities like youth clubs, organised sports, Scout activities and many others. Full details of the consultation can be found on the Shropshire Newsroom website.
The council is keen to hear from young people, their parents and others on their new approach to commissioning activities for young people as part of its consultation. At the moment, activities are provided by a range of organisations, including the council itself, providers commissioned by the council, and organisations who work independently of the council.
The council is proposing a commissioning model which involves Local Area Youth Boards, largely comprised of young people and supporting adults.  The role of a youth board would be to understand what young people want, what resources already exist in the community, and what they wish to add. To do this they will need also need to understand what can be used in their area and what works well. They will then be responsible for choosing and evaluating activities for young people. The Local Youth Boards will be made up of young people (at least 50%), local politicians and a few other supporting adults. The boards will report to the Shropshire Children’s Trust and members of Shropshire’s Youth Parliament.
Gwilym Butler, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for leisure, libraries and culture, and his deputy, Councillor Les Winwood, said:

“It is incredibly important that we hear from our young people what they think about our plans. Their suggestions will help shape the future of youth activities in their area.”

Further information about the consultation can be obtained by phoning Marion Versluijs, Shropshire Council’s commissioning officer, on 01743 253795.
An online survey will run from 8 January 2014 until 31 March 2014 and can be accessed via this page. Details of the proposal are also linked to from that same page.
It is important that young people and others take advantage of opportunities like this consultation. This is especially true in rural areas like Hodnet as they are often overlooked in favour of larger centers of population.