The average spend per head, by councils on the youth service in England was£91.65.
These figures were analysed for the GMB young members London region from latest available figures supplied by 148 English councils to the Audit Commission for 2003/4. They are published annually in the Best Value Performance Indicators. The figures are calculated by dividing the total amount of spending on the youth service by the number of young people aged 13 to 19 server by the youth service. The figures for 148 councils in England that returned figures are available on request.
Youth services provide a varity of services the most important of which is the provision of clubs and other social facilities enabling young people to develop within a social setting that has boundaries and expectations. In addition they provide information and advice to young people and a wide range of other specialist youth services.
Justin Bowden, GMB senior organiser said: 'Some councils are spending less than a pound a week on providing much needed youth services in our towns and cities. The provision of youth clubs and other social facilities where young people can develop their social skills in a controlled environment has to been seen as a necessary antidote to commercial interests who see the youth as a source of income and profits. We will need to invest in our youth if we want to see an end to the binge drinking culture that grows up in the absence of these clubs.'
Typical youth service provision: The youth service engages young people by a variety of methods, according to individual or community need and the resources available.
Club and centre based work provides the core of youth work provision, enabling young people to develop within a social setting. Residential work enables young people to experience greater independence. Information and advice provide accurate information on any subject. Targeted work (including single sex) enables young people to work together, with an emphasis on addressing common/specific needs, focusing on issues that are a priority for young people and their communities. Street work with young people in their own environment, providing opportunities for them to develop and to access other services and opportunities. Confidence building enables young people to express their views and to be heard, and creates opportunities for them ultimately to represent themselves and effect change. These programmes are often run in partnership with other agencies.