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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 02/12/2003
Provision of Youth Shelters



Summary & Purpose
The purpose of this report is to update members on the progress of the provision of youth shelters in Lion Green, Haslemere and Jubilee Fields, Milford.

Quality of Life Implications
Natural Resource Use
Pollution Prevention and Control
Biodiversity and Nature
Local Environment
Social Inclusion
Safe Communities
Local Economy
Natural
Resource Use
Pollution
Prevention and Control
Biodiversity
and Nature
Local
Environment
Social
Inclusion
Safe, Healthy
and Active
Communities
Local
Economy
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Positive
Positive
N/A



Crime and disorder and community safety are of major concern to the public. When youths congregate on street corners or outside shops their actions raise fear of crime for some members of our communities. In our parks we encounter vandalism caused by young people who regularly congregate on play areas. This can affect everyone’s quality of life and cause conflicts especially between the generations.

The short-term solution of moving youths on is not effective and merely displaces the problem. Young people complain about the lack of facilities and whilst youth shelters are not the whole solution – young people also need environments such as youth clubs, organised activities, drop in facilities, advice and counselling services – youth shelters make up an important part of the necessary youth provision.

Experience has shown that the provision of youth shelters have had a positive impact on local communities by reducing damage, graffiti, crime and fear of crime; enhancing community harmony, preventing damage to children’s play areas and reducing on-going maintenance costs associated with parks.

E-Government implications:

There are no e-government implications arising from this report.


Resource and legal implications:

The provision of officer time in providing support for the delivery of the two projects is the only resource implication arising. There are no direct resources implications arising from the projects as Haslemere Police and Community Partnership Group (PCPG) and Witley Parish Council have already secured the necessary funding for the implementation of the projects.

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Background

1. As part of the Council’s core objectives, provision of services for young people is an agreed priority. Through various consultations with young people, the need for safe places to meet has been continually raised throughout the Borough.

2. Both Haslemere PCPG and Witley Parish Council have identified the need to provide youth shelters in their respective areas and funding for these facilities has been secured by the respective organisations. Potential sites have been agreed and these are Lion Green in Haslemere and Jubilee Fields in Milford, both of these sites are owned and managed by the respective organisations.

3. In order to meet the Council’s objectives and to develop partnership working, Officers from Leisure Services with their experience of installing youth skateboard and play facilities, have under the direction of the Portfolio Holder for Youth, offered technical advice and assistance with the implementation of the projects.

What is a Youth Shelter?

4. A youth shelter is a structure designed to meet the social needs of young people – a sheltered place to sit and talk. The roof provides shelter from the weather, but most shelters are open on all sides, enabling all round visibility, ‘natural policing’ and safety for users. There are many examples of youth shelters in authorities around the country including sites in neighbouring Guildford and Rushmoor Boroughs, which have proved to be successful.

5. Thames Valley Police have endorsed the concept of youth shelters and in 1999 produced a good practice guide on the provision of Youth Shelters. In July 2001 the Government’s Home Affairs Committee visited several youth shelters and as a result of their report, Home Secretary David Blunkett has indicated that youth shelters will qualify for funding under the crime reduction schemes. He went on to say: “I believe such schemes can play a role in working with young people and dealing with disaffection”.

Progress on the implementation

Haslemere PCPG Project

6. Funding for the scheme has been secured by the PCPG through the Waverley Community Safety Executive’s GOSE funding plan.

7. At its meeting held on 11th September 2003, Haslemere Town Council resolved that a youth shelter be agreed in principal subject to the appropriate consents being received and that initially this will be for a trial period of 6 to 8 months.


8. Consultation has been undertaken in partnership with Surrey Youth Services with young people regarding the preferred location and type of facility required.

9. Designs for the scheme are currently being prepared by Waverley Borough Council Leisure Services, in response to the consultation.

10. Haslemere PCPG will be responsible for undertaking community consultation.

11. Waverley Borough Council Leisure services will lead on the tendering of the works and supervision of the subsequent installation.

Witley Parish Council Project

12. The Parish Council has agreed funding for the scheme

13. Consultation has been planned in partnership with Surrey Youth Services with young people regarding the preferred location and type of facility required.

14. Witley Parish Council will be responsible for undertaking community consultation.

15. Waverley Borough Council Leisure services will lead on the tendering of the works and supervision of the subsequent installation.

Conclusion

16. Whilst the two projects outlined are those of Haslemere PCPG and Witley Parish Council, the Borough Council by providing advice and support through its officer’s involvement is supporting the delivery of services for young people within the Borough.

Recommendation

The Executive is requested to endorse the work of the officers in delivering these partnership projects and note the progress made to date.

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Background Papers (DoE&L)

Youth Shelters and Sports Systems – A good practice guide by Thames Valley Police
Haslemere Town Council – Minutes of meeting held on 11th September 2003
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CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Julie Maskery Telephone: 01483 523432
E-mail: jmaskery@waverley.gov.uk