WC have published details of their proposals for the Youth Service on its young people’s web site called Sparksite. This is the start of a so called consultation. The information provided is however misleading, manipulative and dishonest.
It pretends that the review is driven by a desire to do things better but makes no mention of the fact that the budget will be reduced by £500,000 – a cut of almost 40%. It says that youth workers will support local communities in developing youth services but doesn’t say that the staff will be reduced from 140 (at all levels and including many part time posts) to only 8 across the whole council area. It says that youth workers will continue to support young people with disabilities or learning difficulties, but doesn’t say that the staff for this will aspect will be reduced to TWO!
EDIT – I’ve got these numbers reversed. Two staff would support area boards etc. and eight would deal with young people with disabilities etc. In both cases this is full time equivalents.
The information published on the main site is not much better. There are no costings, numbers or any sort of detail about the options, no indication of the thought process that went into selecting the ‘preferred’ option. There is no information on the capacity of local communities to step in and meet the demand.
As an exercise in public policy making this is a travesty. As a consultation process it is dishonest, manipulative and misleading.