Skip to main content

Youth Services

Volume 523: debated on Monday 7 February 2011

I should point out that the Department for Education does not have responsibility for the provision of youth services in Wales. However, we are working to modernise and improve the quality of services for young people in England with our stakeholders, including, of course, young people themselves. The early intervention grant is providing more than £2 billion per annum to local authorities’ funding for early intervention services, including for young people. We secured £134 million in capital funding for the remaining myplace projects. The Government are also launching the national citizen service programme, which over time will offer all 16-year-olds a shared opportunity for personal and social development, community service and engagement.

Youth services around the country are anticipating crisis as councils are forced to pass on savage cuts, and the Government seem unwilling to protect these vital services. Will the Minister confirm that the youth service, which provides services week in, week out, has a distinct and specialist role and will not be replaced by the national citizen service programme?

I agree with the hon. Gentleman about the importance of good quality youth services, particularly those that are focused on the people who will get the most from them. To reiterate the point made by the Minister of State, my hon. Friend the Member for Brent Central (Sarah Teather), it is the duty of local authorities to chose how best to spend their funds. National citizen service funding is a separate funding stream that was negotiated with the Treasury, and it does not impact on the funding for youth services from the Department for Education.