Local authority expenditure on Children and Young People’s Services 2

The Department for Education has published Planned Expenditure on Schools, Education, Children and Young People’s Services by local authorities: financial year 2013 to 2014. The Statistical Release provides a summary of the planned expenditure from all 152 Local Authorities (returned to the Department for Education (DfE) via the ‘Section 251 Budget Return’). It shows that spending on ‘Total Services for Young People’ is planned to fall from £664m in 2012/13 to £636m in 2013/14. Within the ‘Total Services for Young People’ category, there will be a slight increase in Targeted Services (from £277 million to £306 million) but a larger fall in Universal Services from (from £386 million to £329 million). Unlike in previous years, there is no separate category of ‘Youth work’.


Local Authority preventative spend

The Early Action Task Force and Neil Reeder at Head and Heart Economics have published a study on trends in expenditure on prevention. It shows that Local Authority preventative spend (including targeted and universal services for young people) declined from 32.4% of spend in 2010/11 to 30.6% in 2011/12 – a proportional fall of 5.5%, and a drop in cash terms of 9.2%.

Spending Round 2013

NCVYS has published a briefing on the Spending Round 2013. It includes details of £11.5 billion of further spending cuts and the implications for relevant government departments.

Voluntary and community sector funding

Figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government given in answering a written parliamentary question suggest that the value of grants given by local authorities to voluntary sector organisations were £2.627bn in 2011/12 compared with £1.693bn in 2008/09. In response NAVCA said no one really believed local government funding for charities was rising and suggested that ‘changes in the way figures are calculated may have caused this odd figure’.

NCVO has published Counting the Cuts: The impact of spending cuts on the UK voluntary and community sector -2013 update. This analysis, based on Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts of public spending, estimates that public funding for charities could be £1.7bn (12%) lower by 2017/18. It noted that future reductions in public spending are likely to be concentrated among departments which are key sources of income for charities – with local government expected to be particularly hard hit.

NCVO has also published the results of the 2011/12 Annual Return for Volunteer Centres, a survey of volunteer centres’ income and activities. It shows that 40% of volunteer centres for whom there is data for both years lost over a quarter of their income compared to the previous year. 1 in 5 (21%) had cuts of 50% or more of their income. A smaller number of volunteer centres saw an increase in their income – 26% of respondents who replied to the survey in both years said their organisation’s income had increased compared to 2010/11.

NAVCA has published the findings of its fourth quarterly survey of members. The latest survey shows that more members feel that the prospects for the local voluntary and community sector will get slightly worse over the next three months, with nearly half reducing staff levels.

Youth justice system

The Youth Justice Board has given Youth Offending Teams across England and Wales an early indication of their Youth Justice Grant funding for 2013/14. It is estimated each YOT will receive an 8.8 per cent reduction in the level of Ministry of Justice funding received as part of the Youth Justice Grant, than was given in 2012/13.  The YJ Grant no longer includes any contribution from the Home Office, as local Police and Crime Commissioners will now receive this money directly from the Home Office, which is to be spent on a wide range of local priorities, including youth crime prevention.

The Ministry of Justice has published its response to a consultation on the new remand framework for children. It reveals that local authorities will get £20.2m to cover the cost of remand places and treating children on remand as looked-after. They had previously been told they would receive £24.6m. The Ministry of Justice said the reduction accounts for falling numbers of under-18s being remanded to custody. London Councils has said they are “extremely concerned that this financial burden will have a hugely detrimental impact on the level of support that boroughs are able to provide”.

Youth Offending Teams (2013)

The Youth Justice Board / Ministry of Justice statistical bulletin Youth Justice Statistics 2011/12 England and Wales has revealed that between 2010/11 and 2011/12 “there was a reduction in the overall level of funding available to YOTs from £373m to £330m, a reduction of 12 per cent. This is the lowest level of funding YOTs received since 2006/07.” The YJB Grant was reduced by 20 per cent, with other sources of YOT funding (including police, probation, health services and Local Authorities) also being reduced.

The bulletin also noted that in June 2011 15,955 people were recorded as working for YOTs in some capacity, a reduction of 15 per cent on the staffing levels in YOTs in 2010/11. In September 2012, Minister for Prisons and Rehabilitation Jeremy Wright said that between 2009/10 and 2010/11 there were 835 fewer posts in youth offending teams (YOTs) in England and Wales, including volunteers, part-time and temporary staff, which was a 4% reduction.

A Parliamentary Question has also revealed details of funding received by each YOT in 2011-12, showing that Trafford YOT had the largest reduction in 2011-12 in funding from statutory partners and the YJB: from £3.22 million in 2010-11 to £1.59 million in 2011-12, a decline of 50.4%.

During this period there have also been reductions in the number of young people entering the system for the first time, as well as reductions in those receiving disposals in and out of court, including those receiving custodial sentences.

Local campaigns against cuts to young people’s services

Redbridge Council has confirmed that councillors have reconsidered their initial plans to cut its services for young people budget. Following a youth council campaign against proposed cuts of £696,000, the council will now retain £500,000 for spending on local provision for young people. The council said music and drama centres would also be protected from the cuts, with £175,000 funding, and any remaining savings required would be made through efficiency improvements and not cuts to frontline services.

Campaigns against cuts to young people have also taken place in Newcastle and Birmingham. In Birmingham more than 100 people have protested against plans to make £1.5m of cuts, which could see 30 youth clubs and other services close. In Newcastle, the Newcastle Youth Council has delivered its report on how budget cut proposals will affect 11-18s in the city, with a plea to City Councillors to “restore hope to the young”. ‘A Fair Deal for Young People?’ concludes that young people are getting an unfair deal from local budget plans and those hit hardest will be the most vulnerable, living in the poorest areas.

In North Somerset, 21-year-old Aaron Hunt has been given permission to appeal against a High Court ruling which refused to halt cuts that threaten the youth club for disabled youngsters that he attends. His initial legal challenge, claiming the council had breached the Equality Act, was dismissed at the High Court in July 2012.