Friday, 9 December 2011

It is the Season

Several important developments this week. 

I attended (as Chair) the South East Youth Partnership on Wednesday and it’s always useful for catching up on news from other authorities. Bucks CC have transferred their youth centres straight to local community organisations to run, with a dowry….

The Government’s new policy on “Positive for Youth” is due out shortly – you can check progress at:

Excellent meeting with Louise Puntner from Surrey Chambers, and facilitated by our trustee Nigel Biggs, about our 4X4 Scheme (title invented by Yvonne Hignell of HALOW) whereby we link 4 charities to 4 businesses in a long term mentoring type relationship – skills transfer, support and advice, and perhaps funding, but that is a secondary aim. We will have this up and running with the first 4 by the end of January.

I seem to have been at County hall a lot this week. First, on Monday my Chairman, David Hypher and I met with David Hodge (Surrey CC Leader) and Kay Hammond (Cabinet member – young people) about various issues, and were able to mention the prospective development of a new youth hostel in the centre of Epsom for homeless young people, which will trigger some reorganization of youth centres in the area, and be of great benefit. We are acting in a brokerage capacity with the key stakeholders.

Then on Thursday morning I participated in a discussion about how Surrey CC might respond to the Localism Act. There was some muddled thinking around about commissioning,  and I thought a failure to recognize that adoption of the principle of subsidiarity (correctly) needed to be preceded by being clear about what standards or norms need first to be done centrally. I also discerned a wariness about losing entrenched roles (amongst councilors of both county and district) and an unwillingness to address Surrey’s in built high cost structure of three tiers (county, district, parish),  but will taxpayers put up with this in future?

And finally a lovely Christmas Reception at County Hall last night hosted by the Chairman (Lavinia Sealy) and at last I’m beginning to feel in the Christmas mood!


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