Agenda and minutes

Children and Young Peoples' Forum
Wednesday, 25th February, 2015 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Council Offices. View directions

Contact: Ian Dobson  Email: ian.dobson@oadby-wigston.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

36.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

J Crane (Young Leicestershire, Wigston Club for Young People), P Pugh (Early Help Manager, Leicestershire County Council)

 

37.

Minutes of Last Meeting DOCX 23 KB

Minutes:

Councillor K J Loydall expressed thanks to the Youth Council for allowing a representative of the South Wigston Food Bank to make a presentation at their September 2014 meeting. This was suggested in the minutes of the previous meeting of this forum.

 

Councillor Mrs J M Gore noted that on page two of the minutes, in the Supersonic Boom item, that the ‘selfie competition’ referred to was mistyped as a ‘selfie completion’.

 

RESOLVED THAT:

 

The Minutes of the Forum held on 13 September 2014 be taken as read, confirmed and signed.

 

 

38.

Police Update

Minutes:

Sgt. J Gunduz provided the forum with an update on youth related Police work that is currently taking place within the Borough. This update included;

 

·         Hayes Park, Wigston: Hayes Park is still on the Police ‘radar’ as a potential hotspot area for young people to congregate which, in the past, has lead to several reports of perceived anti-social behaviour (ASB). As an action raised through the Joint Action Group (JAG) meetings M Smith is currently looking at sourcing funding to secure the provision of goal posts at Hayes Park which should help alleviate some of the issues previously experienced there. As part of procuring the goal posts M Smith will be organising a public consultation to ensure the size of the equipment and its location is suitable for the affected residents.

 

·         Tesco, South Wigston: The number of ASB complaints concerning Tesco and the surrounding area, which was previously cited as a ‘hotspot’ area for ASB, has tailed off dramatically. The area is still reviewed as part of the ongoing JAG meetings.

 

·         Bell Street, Wigston: Bell Street and the surrounding area (Junction Road, Frederick Street and McDonalds) has seen a dramatic increase in the number of ASB complaints received concerning the area. This is directly related to the area becoming a meeting point for large groups of young people. This has resulted in the area becoming a targeted area for work by both the Police and the IMPACT Team. The area is currently patrolled by the Police on Friday and Saturday evenings where the ASB issues regularly escalate.         

As part of the ongoing work the Streetvibe Youth Bus has been hired in to provide activities for the young people to participate in; this has proven popular in the area and its presence has been extended for a further month.

As McDonalds is often a focal point for the ASB issues various approaches (covered in Minutes Section 62) have been made in order to discourage large groups of young people to congregate there. McDonalds, in order to assist in the discouragement, has agreed to switch off its free Wi-Fi on a Friday and Saturday evening as it is seen as a draw for young people to the location. It has also been agreed that McDonalds will provide the Police with CCTV images of any young person who is believed to be causing ASB at the location.          

El Café, on the corner of Junction Road and Spring Lane, has also begun opening between 6.30pm and 8.30pm in order to engage young people in informal youth work on a Friday evening. The Police are looking to engage with El Café in this work.

 

Sgt. Gunduz requested that the dates of the 2015 meetings of this forum, when agreed, be passed to both him and Insp. S Bunn, the NPA Commander, when available in order to aid them in providing a Police presence at this forum in the future.

 

39.

IMPACT Team Update - Glen White

Minutes:

G White provided the forum with a presentation covering the work of the IMPACT Team, and its purpose, within the Borough. The work of the IMPACT Team is supported by OWBC and the Police alongside other partners. As part of the Youth Offending Service the IMPACT Team are also able to work with specific young people on a one-to-one basis.

 

The IMPACT Team’s current area of focus is the Junction Road area in Wigston where groups of up to 30 or 40 young people are regularly gathering on a Friday and Saturday evening. The work they are undertaking in this area is greatly supported by the re-opening of El Café (whose current owners, Lee and Michelle, are very proactive in working with young people) and the provision of diversionary activities such as the Streetvibe Youth Bus. This support makes it easier to build a rapport with the young people present in the area as well as being able to use El Café and the Youth Bus as a base.

 

To further support the efforts of the IMPACT Team and their partners in engaging with the congregating young people an offer of ‘Building Positive Relationships’ training, developed over a number of years by the IMPACT Team, has been made to staff at El Café, McDonalds and Sainsbury’s. The aim of this training is to aide in preventing, or resolving, conflict between staff and young people which is currently an aggravating factor in the reported ASB. This training has previously been delivered successfully to staff at Tesco, South Wigston when similar issues were taking place in their vicinity.

 

As part of approaching the ASB problem in the Junction Road area the IMPACT Team feed in to a ‘Wigston Working Group’ (a sub-group of the JAG) which looks at sourcing funding for, and providing, more activities within the area. The IMPACT Team, OWBC, the Police, Voluntary Action Leicester, the Community Action Partnership and local residents are all involved in the work of this group which, at present, meets on a monthly basis the week prior to the JAG meetings. To underpin the work of this group two consultation events are being held at El Café on the 13th and 20th March, between 6.30pm and 8.30pm, to engage with young people and the community in order to look for a long term solution to the ASB. It is hoped that funding for activities commissioned through this group can be sought from several streams including the Community Safety Partnership and local businesses.

 

Alongside the above the IMPACT Team, which includes a dedicated sports worker, provided some sporting activities for young people over half term at Willow Park.

 

Members thanked G White for his presentation and asked some questions relating to the work of the IMPACT Team;

 

 

·         Where do the young people go when El Café closes?   
Typically the young people head to McDonalds at the end of the existing activities. Members of the IMPACT Team finish their working hours at 10pm  ...  view the full minutes text for item 39.

40.

County Youth Service Update

Minutes:

The Chair informed the forum that due to the restructure of the Youth Service by Leicestershire County Council, and their cost-saving exercise, that support for this forum by the Youth Service has been pulled. It was agreed that the County Youth Service update, provided monthly, by shared with the forum instead of a representative of the Youth Service attending.

 

Members commented that it was sad to see that the Youth Service has been reduced and is now having to be so targeted in its work that the majority of young people are now unable to engage with it.

 

41.

Individual Electoral Registration - Registration of Young People pdf icon PDF 58 KB

Minutes:

I Dobson referred members to the report found in the agenda pack regarding Individual Electoral Registration and how young people are under registered on the electoral role within the Borough.

 

One of the particular challenges faced within the Borough is the registration of students living in the University of Leicester halls of residence in Oadby; students can no longer be ‘block registered’ and must do so individually.

 

Posters have already been delivered to John Foster Hall in Oadby for distribution around the university halls of residence. Sgt. J Gunduz requested additional promotional materials that Police Officers will be able to distribute more directly in the halls.

 

I Dobson requested that anyone who is able to support the registration process make him aware of their contact details via the sheet circulated during the meeting. The goal is to register as many people in the Borough as possible by the deadline of 20th April 2015. Forum members who are able to assist can request additional promotional materials (posters and leaflets) that can be distributed around the Borough. The best way of registering individuals so far however has been through doorstep visits.

 

Young people are able to register at 16 and 17 years of age and will then be held on the electoral role on retainer until they turn 18 and are eligible to vote. In light of this all schools in the Borough with pupils of the relevant age have been provided with promotional materials.

 

Members queried the A3 size of the promotional posters and if they would fit onto the Borough notice boards. The creation of an A4 version was suggested for the notice boards as well as for classrooms within the targeted schools.

42.

Youth Council Update

Minutes:

J Advani provided the forum with the following update;

 

This forum last received an update on the activities of the Youth Council in September 2014. Since then the Youth Council has maintained a visible and active presence within the Borough and worked to ensure the voice of young people is heard.

 

In September of last year we began to plan our involvement in the Europe-wide ‘Local Democracy Week’; this week long programme of activities is intended to introduce young people to the importance of democracy on a local level and educate them on how, even on trivial matters, their immediate community is influenced by the political environment which surrounds them.

 

Our approach to Local Democracy Week was to engage our peers in debate on local and national topics including the right to vote at 16 and the level of available facilities for young people in Oadby, Wigston and South Wigston. All of the Borough’s High Schools and Colleges were invited to send representatives of their respective student councils to this event to debate the proposed topics in a team format. Despite a poor turn out from the schools on the evening of the debate event however the youth council, including young people who attended solely for the debate aspect of the evening, took to the debate enthusiastically and raised some strong, well thought out and argued points.

 

As October rolled around we were made aware of the upcoming ‘Children Commissioner’s Takeover Week’ where young people throughout the UK are encouraged to ‘takeover’ a variety of roles at all levels. In previous years young people in other areas of the UK have took on roles including those of Inspector with their local Police, Chief Executives with Community Organisations, Principals in local schools and various roles in local businesses. As first time participants in the Takeover Week the Youth Council opted to explore the possibility of members chairing some of the regular meetings that take place within the Borough Council and, in November, the Wigston Resident’s Forum was successfully chaired by a member of the Youth Council, Lara.

 

December allowed us to take to the streets of South Wigston during Christmas Capers to canvas resident’s opinions on youth related issues in the Borough and promote the work the Youth Council undertake (as well as see the Transformers!). The information collected during Christmas Capers will be used to help informed the work we undertake in 2015.

 

With the change from 2014 into 2015 came time to orientate ourselves toward a new, long term campaign following the focus we placed on improving the bus services within the Borough. Whilst our Arriva campaign will continue it was decided in our January meeting to spend 2015 raising money, and awareness, for homelessness schemes such as Shelter. Current ideas include raising money via both Supersonic Boom and potentially having members of the Youth Council spend a night out to understand how it feels to rough sleep; this is, however, a campaign still in development.

 

The Chair added  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42.

43.

Oadby Schools Consultation

Minutes:

D Eckert addressed the forum in regards to the views of Oadby young people on the proposed age range changes to Manor, Gartree and Beauchamp.

 

It was explained that D Eckert has taken the time to create an independent survey on the proposed age range changes for students in years 5 – 9 to participate in. The survey is anonymous to ensure a fair and honest response to the questions posed is given. The survey has been circulated to the heads of the three affected schools and their feeder primary schools. To date there have been seven positive replies to the survey out of the eight schools who had received it. The findings of the survey will be fed back to the schools, CYCLe and the Youth Council. Copies of the findings from the survey can also be made available to interested members of this forum and other Councillors.

 

Members congratulated D Eckert on taking the initiative to create and manage the survey. Members also expressed disappointment that young people affected by the proposed changes had not been targeted by the Oadby schools in a similar manner to the approach the Wigston schools took whilst undertaking a similar age range change. D Eckert confirmed that Manor High School has now sent out a survey to its pupils.

 

Members asked what the current opinion on the age range change amongst Oadby young people was; D Eckert stated that year 5 pupils seem to be the most worried as their move on to high school could now impact on their opportunities later in life such as gaining a place in their preferred Sixth Form. All Oadby students, however, are under pressure regarding the changes; Oadby schools have a good reputation and the age range survey stands a good chance of damaging that perception.

 

44.

Early Help Grant Scheme Update pdf icon PDF 766 KB

Minutes:

M Smith updated the forum on the decision made by Leicestershire County Council to dramatically scale back the amount of Early Help funding available for 2015/16 and move to a central commissioning model. This means that no amount of Early Help funding will be provided to OWBC in the new financial year for use in commissioning projects for young people. Leicestershire County Council will commission ‘core projects’, such as counselling schemes, directly in the Borough based on needs identified through the Youth Service.

 

M Smith went on to explain that the underspend from OWBC’s 2014/15 allocation of Early Help funding is primarily made up of funds remaining from 2013/14 which will not be reclaimed by Leicestershire County Council. This money, approx. £3,200.00, has been ring fenced for use in funding ‘high impact’ and ‘targeted’ youth projects within the Borough; at present it is likely that this money will be used to further develop diversionary activities around the Junction Road area due to the high number of ASB incidents being reported from there. The underspend available to carry forward may increase if any of the on-going Early Help projects, all due to finish by the end of March 2014, report an underspend from their allocated monies.

 

The Early Help update moved on to reference the Quarter 3 report provided to members as part of the agenda pack. M Smith referenced the ‘Project Status’ section of the report and informed members that all finished projects had achieved an ‘excellent’ rating and that all on-going projects were also on-track to do so. The opportunity to raise any questions generated by the report was then given to members.

 

Members queried the ‘Output’ table on page 8 of the Quarter 3 report as the numbers cited in the gender and age breakdowns do not tally to the number given as the ‘total number of young people engaged in project’ for the 2013/14 period. M Smith clarified that during that period ‘PAYP’ monies, as Early Help used to be known, was used to fund two community events where it was not possible to provide a breakdown of the age and gender of those attending. The total number of young people engaged reflects the known number of young people attending projects funded through PAYP and the estimated number of young people attending the community events. A footnote will be added to the Quarter 4 report to clarify this.

 

Members also queried the ‘Funding Allocation by Participant Age’ graph on page 11 of the Quarter 3 report. Specifically members wished to know if there was a reason that the majority of young people (61%) participating in Early Help funded projects were aged 11 – 15. M Smith explained that very few of the funded projects specifically targeted the 11 – 15 age range and that the majority of them focused on 11 – 19 (or 10 – 25 with learning difficulties or disabilities); M Smith speculated, without having the census data readily available to confirm, that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 44.

45.

Supersonic Boom 2015

Minutes:

The Chair confirmed to the forum that Supersonic Boom will continue to be an OWBC project in 2015 which is driven by the Youth Council.

 

The proposed date for Supersonic Boom 2015 is Wednesday, 20th August. A location for the event to take place has not yet been decided upon and is something that M Smith, along with the Youth Council and OWBC’s parks team, will be looking into shortly.

 

The Chair asked that anybody wishing to volunteer to assist in the planning or running of the event make themselves known to M Smith once the request for volunteers is circulated later in the year.

 

Members enquired as to whether Supersonic Boom 2015 could open later in the day or run for longer. The Chair confirmed that feedback from Supersonic Boom 2014 supported this enquiry and that it is something M Smith and the Youth Council will be considering.

 

46.

Young Citizen of the Year 2015 pdf icon PDF 295 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair reminded members that the period for individuals to be nominated as Oadby & Wigston’s Young Citizen of the Year 2015 is open.

 

The award is for exceptional young people within the Borough who have done something that has bettered their community.

 

Nomination forms can be downloaded from the Youth Council’s page on the Jitty website (http://www.thejitty.com/groups/owyc) or requested from M Smith. All completed nominations should be submitted to M Smith by Tuesday, 31st March 2015.

 

47.

Any other business

Minutes:

Councillor L A Bentley informed the forum that Birkett House School in Wigston will be relocating to a purpose built facility on the new Wigston Academy campus. The new school is proposed to open in 2017.

 

Councillor Mrs J M Gore brought to the forum’s attention a ‘spikey’ that she had collected from the Boulter Crescent Community Flat. A spikey is a small plastic collar that can be inserted into the neck of a bottle which can then have a straw passed through it for drinking purposes; this prevents foreign substances from being inserted into an individual’s drinks. Members suggested that the Chair of OWBC’s Licensing Committee brings spikeys to the attention of that group with the intention of encouraging their use in bars and clubs within the Borough.

 

G Pote informed the forum that due to the withdrawal by Leicestershire County Council of Early Help funding to the Borough staff at both the Oadby Youth Centre and the Wigston Club for Young People have been handed 90 days notice regarding their employment as, unfortunately, there is no funding available for the continuation of these clubs at present. G Pote suggested that the Friday evening sessions may be able to continue but emergency meetings concerning the future of these clubs with Young Leicestershire must take place first. Members suggested that Oadby based projects for young people with financial difficulties can approach the Oadby Educational Trust for funding. It was asked if projects can approach their relevant Resident’s Forum for additional funding but it was confirmed that these forums can only provide funding for capital schemes and not revenue projects.