Council outlines cuts to children and young people's services

By Adam Offord

| 18 April 2016

A council has announced plans to cut £350,000 from services for children and young people.

Bracknell Forest Council is running a consultation on the proposals until 17 May. Picture: Bracknell Forest Council

Bracknell Forest Council says it has been left with a funding gap of £11.6m across all services in 2016/17 due to its central government grant being reduced by 80 per cent over the next four years.

It has outlined plans to cut £260,000 from its early help offer and £90,000 from a children’s centre over the next two years.

An online consultation paper shows £57,000 of the early help offer saving would come from the scrapping of 1.9 full-time equivalent youth worker posts, “which will lead to a reduction in universal services for young people”.

Meanwhile savings of £78,000 will come from scrapping 2.2 full-time equivalent development officer posts that support after-school clubs, childminders, play schemes and wraparound provision. 

Other cuts to the early help offer would include removing the resources budget for the family information service, halving a grant for a parental support programme and scrapping voluntary sector grant support for three services including £13,200 for art sessions for young people.   

In addition, the council has also proposed to save £90,000 by reducing universal service provision within a children’s centre, which offers activities for under-fives and support for their families and carers. 

The consultation paper states the centre’s focus would be on targeted services and 2.7 full-time equivalent posts would be scrapped, but health services would still be delivered from the site.

Gareth Barnard, lead member for children, young people and learning, said: “The current 2016/17 budget setting proposals for children, young people and learning are currently under consultation.

"During the 12-week consultation period, our focus will be to establish how and where we can deliver services in a different way and assess the impact proposals may have on our service users."

A consultation on the proposals is open until 17 May.

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