Youth Services and Mutualisation

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2012 Local Government Service Group Conference
23 February 2012

Conference is concerned that the emphasis of delivery in the Government’s positive for youth policy lies with commissioning the community and voluntary sector and the encouragement of mutualisation.

Conference is concerned that the commissioning agenda will lead to a massive detriment to terms and conditions across both voluntary and statutory youth sectors, a continuing shift in the nature of the voluntary youth sector and its relationship with the state and a terminal fragmentation of the statutory youth sector. In addition mutual social enterprise employee ownership models are being promoted for youth support services and may look attractive to members who feel council run services are no longer viable given the disproportionate cuts to youth services.

Conference is emphatic that redesigning services through mutualisation or the creation of a charitable trust will not enable councils to face cuts in a better way. There is relatively little experience of mutuals providing public services and the mutual approach could lead to fragmentation of the management and provision of services and undermine democratic accountability.

Conference calls on the Service Group Executive to:

1)Oppose privatisation of youth services in all forms;

2)Provide guidance to members and branches on cooperative mutual social enterprise or other ownership models proposed for youth support services.