YOUTH SERVICE SELL OFF BEGINS

PORTSMOUTHTRADES COUNCIL (PTC)

MEDIA RELEASE 16 June 2012

For Immediate Release

YOUTH SERVICE SELL OFF BEGINS

Last year PCC began a consultation around selling off Portsmouth’s youth services. After a negative public reaction and the prospect of upcoming local elections the plans were shelved. Now the plan has beendusted off and is back on the table. This is being done despite the negativeresponse from young people and staff last year. The decision to contract outyouth services is being kept very quiet.

PCC intends to divide the city into 3 areas and sell off the service piece by piece. This decision has been made without proper consultationwith service users and staff.

If PCC hands it’s youth service to voluntary providers, staff would be initially protected under TUPE regulations. However once transferred, there is little or no protection against changes to terms and conditions. This is how outside contractors can afford to provide a service more cheaply than PCC.

Pay, terms and conditions are under threat and trade unions and the Trades Council are very concerned about the impact these drastic changes will have on service users and our communities.

‘These types of sell offs lead to job insecurity, cuts to pay and conditions, and a fall in the standard of service provided to young people. We believe that this decision is politically motivated, cost driven and isn’t in the interests of young peopleand staff’, said Richard White, Unite Convenor.

Speaking about the proposed sell off of Youth Services, Sion Reynolds, Secretary of the Portsmouth Association of the NASUWT, said:

‘It is good that in the past Portsmouth City Council have set a priority to help children and young people facing difficulties, and their spending in this area has had a marvellous effect.’

‘Working in partnership with local schools, for example, the sterling work by the Health Improvement and Development Service has helped reduce the teenage pregnancy rate. ‘

‘The amount of youth offending has also been reduced due to efforts of PCC staff working with parents and children.’

‘Overall the amount of young people leaving school not in employment, education or training is down, and this is very much against national trend.’

‘The Council asserts that cuts need to be made in this area but we must stand up for our services which are having a positive and essential impact upon our community.’

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