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Youth Services

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 27 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the targeted youth support pathfinders set out in the Respect Action Plan. (167542)

Evaluation started in October 2006 and will continue until September 2008. Findings from the interim report (due to be published at the end of November) suggest early benefits from the pathfinders: at a strategic level improved multi-agency working and better engagement of practitioners and schools has been perceived.

At an operational level there are reports of raised profile of services, collective ownership and a better understanding of the holistic needs of young people. Practitioners report early gains such as more tailored, coordinated support for those below the statutory thresholds, and therefore earlier intervention.

Evaluation is at too early a stage to provide robust information about the impact on young people. These findings will emerge during the course of next year.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps his Department and its predecessor has taken to develop youth and community facilities for children over the age of 11 years (a) nationally and (b) in West Lancashire constituency in the last five years. (189794)

The Government do not collect specific information on youth and community facilities as responsibility for these rests with local authorities.

However, Government are committed to investing in facilities for young people. ‘Aiming high for young people: a ten year strategy for positive activities’, which was published in July 2006, announced the launch of a new programme of capital investment based on the reinvestment of unclaimed assets from dormant bank accounts and £60 million of new DCSF funding. Our ambition is that this will lead to new and improved youth facilities in every constituency over the next 10 years.

The Children's Plan subsequently announced a further £160 million of DCSF investment over the next two years to support this ambition.

In addition a total of £115 million over two years (2006-08) has been made available through the Youth Opportunity Fund (YOF) and the Youth Capital Fund (YCF), to fund activities and improve facilities for young people in their neighbourhood. The two funds which are designed to work in tandem and are spent at young people's discretion are allocated through local authorities. The YCF can be used to provide new or improving existing facilities and equipment. This investment will continue over the next three years up to 2011.

Lancashire local authority has a combined YOF/YCF allocation of £1,226,929 (YOF £657,899/YCF £569,030).