Decision details

Youth Provision in Wirral – The Hive

Decision Maker: Director of Children, Families and Education

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


To agree the continuation of funding of £200k for The Hive Youth Zone for a further 12 months (April 2024 – March 2025) to deliver Youth Provision as part of the Local Authorities (LA) Neighbourhood Youth Model, in line with an agreed specification.

Reasons for the decision:

• Local authorities have a statutory duty to provide youth services. Section 507B of the Education Act 1996 states that local authorities must ‘secure as far as necessary practicable, sufficient provision of educational and recreational for young people’ and make sure young people have a say in the local offer.

• The Local Authority meets its statutory responsibility through a localised youth offer which includes provision delivered by the Local Authority Youth Services and commissioned third sector partners, at both universal and targeted levels.

• The Youth Offer was reviewed in 2019, to understand what young people in Wirral need and want to support their development and help them to achieve the best possible outcomes.

• Following the Youth Offer Review, Wirral’s youth provision was reorganised to provide an effective response to the needs of young people. This involved defining a universal offer which is available to all and targeted support to address issue specific need.

• Wirral’s youth work provision is known collectively as Youth Matters, providing early help through a wide range of universal and targeted support and activities to meet the needs and aspirations of Wirral children aged 6-19 years and up to 25 years for those with a special educational need or disability.

• The Hive works in partnership with the Council’s Youth Workers to deliver the universal youth offer in Birkenhead.

• To maintain their current service offer for young people, the Hive are reliant on the contribution from the LA.

• In September 2023, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) issued new statutory guidance for local authorities on services and activities to improve young people’s wellbeing. The guidance requires that Wirral reviews its assessment of local need, priorities, barriers to participation, and needs of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to ensure that the local offer supports young people to achieve their potential.

• The Youth Participation Action Group (YPAG) is being re-established and will lead the review of the youth offer against the new statutory guidance.

• A report was taken to Children, Young People and Education Committee in October 2023 which recommended members to

1. Review and scrutinise the current youth services provided for children and young people.

2. Agree to receive a further report on how the Youth Offer meets the requirements of the statutory guidance issued by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport under Section 507B of the Education Act 1996, issued September 2023.

Alternative options considered:

Other options have not been considered in the context of this.

Publication date: 13/05/2024

Date of decision: 13/05/2024