Sefton Youth Service – Making decisions in partnership with others is not their strong point

I have commented before about the rather odd state of affairs in allocating Council money for youth services in the East Parishes part of Sefton.

Amazingly a 2013/14 budget of £40,000 for which bids originally had to be in by the end of October 2012 has yet to be allocated with the agreement of all the bidding groups. We are talking 8 moving into 9 months down the track!

The money is for the running of youth facilities in Lydiate, Melling, Maghull and Aintree Village and includes the budget to run Maghull Town Hall’s innovative and highly successful Youth Coffee Bar.

For reasons I genuinely can’t understand there is meeting after meeting between interested youth facility providers from the voluntary and Parish Council sectors with Sefton’s Youth Service but the allocation of the money simply does not happen and the process continues to go around in circles. Having spoken with some people involved in the circus they are clearly at the end of their tethers, what’s more at the latest meeting no one from Sefton’s Youth Service was even there!

My guess is that most of the volunteers and Parish Councils have clear objectives for their youth facilities but Sefton Council is not seemingly keen to embrace their plans. Sadly, such a line would be consistent with Sefton’s approach to Maghull’s Youth Coffee Bar which was set up by local young people with the help of the then Lib Dem run Maghull Town Council and a great local Youth Worker, who really did embrace innovation, called Nova Rimmer many years ago. Young people running things themselves and making a success of it – we can’t be having any of that – seems to be the order of the day.

Nova is well retired now but every now and again I run across her in Southport as I did only a couple of weeks ago. She asked me how Maghull’s Youth Coffee Bar was doing and I think the look on my face was all she had to see to realise that the battles with Sefton Council’s Youth Service go on as they have done for 20+ years.

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