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BOROUGH TAKES YOUTH SERVICE BACK IN HOUSE

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Bromley LBC will take its youth service back 'in house' in the short term when the contract with current provider P...
Bromley LBC will take its youth service back 'in house' in the short term when the contract with current provider Prospects ends. Executive councillors have agreed the measure which will allow the authority to continue making improvements until the longer term structure of the service is determined.

Following the decision in November to terminate the contract with Prospects by mutual agreement, three options for the future have been considered: reletting the contract to another provider; taking back in house; mixed in house/external provider.

In the short term, it was considered essential that the council takes full control of the youth service and this will happen on 1 April.

A mixed approach will be developed in the medium to long term as the council moves towards integration of all children and youth support services. This will enable the council to retain strategic leadership, while extending the reach of services through other organisations such as Bromley Mytime, voluntary groups and extended schools.

Executive councillor for children and young people Graham Arthur said: 'This is an extremely positive step forward which puts us in a strong position to continue to drive forward improvements in line with our local priorities. No one would pretend this part of the youth service has operated satisfactorily in recent years and we are committed to improving services for all the borough's young people.'

The youth service is a complex network of providers, community groups, voluntary organisations and local authorities. As a local authority Bromley has been responsible for ensuring a youth service is provided in the area, with the voluntary sector and other partners, for more than 60 years.

Notes

Since 1992, the council has met its statutory responsibility to provide a youth service by contracting to one or more providers.

Prospects Services Limited was awarded a 10-year contract to run the service in September 2003.

Organisations which contribute to a youth service should share a common set of values including:

* quality support which helps young people achieve and progress

* enabling young people to influence decision-making

* diversity of personal and social development opportunities

* preventing disaffection and social exclusion

* well planned services that meet young people's needs and priorities

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