Agenda item

Budget Savings


Julia Hassall described the Council’s Budget Options in respect of the Children and Young Peoples Department for the period 2014-16, some of which may affect schools:-


§  Review of Transport (£100,000)

A saving of £100,000 is proposed within vehicle depot and maintenance costs.  The Forum noted that this option does not impact on arrangements for transporting children to schools.


§  Accommodation for 16-17 Year Olds (£300,000)

The Council plans to provide accommodation for 16/17 year olds at risk of being homeless in a council owned property, instead of spot purchasing places.  Overall the provision for young people leaving care will be more cost effective whilst providing better support.


§  Working in Partnership with Schools (£1,215,000)

This option involves working with schools to share costs and resources to deliver a number of services: 

o  A reduction in the School Improvement programme whilst protecting funding for school intervention and support.

o  A statutory core service for Education Social Welfare will be provided with a chargeable traded service offering further support to schools.  The Forum requested further details on requirements for the statutory service and implications fro schools.

o  A reduction in early retirement costs associated with school staff.

o  The introduction of charges for school crossing patrols.  The Forum discussed the uneven distribution of crossing patrols, some schools share crossings and others have more than one, these factors will make charges complicated.  A flat charge for schools was noted as an option (£4,000 - £5,000 pa).  Schools with more than one crossing would consider this fairer to stop excessive costs.  The LA does have obligations under the Road Traffic Act to provide road safety.  The Forum noted that where crossing patrols are not provided a review would be undertaken to consider any road safety issues or additional measures required, such as pelican crossings.


§  Early Intervention to Support Families (£2,250,000)

  This option focuses on providing early targeted support for children to reduce the number of those needing specialist support.  It will provide support to enable more children to safely leave care earlier, as some children in Wirral remain in care longer than they should. 


§  Careers Advice and Guidance £200,000)

  The Merseyside contract for a CEIAG service is being re-tendered.  The new service will start in April 2014.  CEIAG will target support for vulnerable young people who are at risk of becoming NEET.  The Forum were concerned that the support for statemented pupils and LAC will continue.


§  Children’s Centres (£2,000,000)

  This proposal will restructure Children’s Centres so that services are maintained at four centres in Rock Ferry, Seacombe, Pensby and Bromborough, with reduced services at the other centres.  Wirral spends above its statistical neighbours in this area.  The Forum noted that savings were made in this area last year, and that this additional amount is a significant sum which may impact on those most in need of services.


§  Family Parenting and Youth Commissioning (£500,000)

  There will be a reduction in these services which will be focussed on those children and families with the greatest need.


§  Reducing Substance abuse and Teenage Pregnancies (£160,000)

  There will be no loss of service in these areas.  These programmes will, in future, be funded by Public Health.


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