Proposals by Wokingham Borough Council to redesign the borough’s youth clubs and children centres would improve provision, and is an opportunity for local groups and people to tailor services to the needs of their communities.
Existing services for vulnerable groups would be protected under the plans to be considered by the council’s decision-making executive on July 25. The buildings themselves would remain and those services not run by the council would continue.
Community groups in Earley, Twyford and Woodley have already said they would be eager to draw up business plans to design services for their local young people and children. The borough council would also offer financial support during this financial year to help those community groups and volunteers with robust business plans set up the new local services.
The recommendations to be considered by the executive include: two centres at Woodley Airfield and Wokingham Town operating as hubs with staff working out of these centres at other locations / centres in the borough to meet need; support for communities in Earley, Woodley and Twyford to develop business plans for local youth provision and youth centres; and Ambleside, Brambles and Red Kite will continue as children’s centres with services also being provided at Starlings, Finchampstead and
Hub and spoke is a popular and proven model used by organisations and local councils across the country. Services are organised from a central point in a community serving those people surrounding it, with more emphasis on mobile and outreach services.
Cllr Charlotte Haitham Taylor, executive member for children’s services, said: “These proposals, if agreed by the executive, are an exciting opportunity for local communities to step up and take the lead to redesign and shape services how they want and need them.
“Existing services would be protected for our most vulnerable young people and children such as those with learning disabilities and for those at risk of dropping out of education, employment or training.
“These proposals would create a more flexible system which directly reflects what’s needed in our communities. The proposed model is a more cohesive way of doing things because management and governance is shared, and it will be easier to identify ways to improve and develop the services to serve those who most need them.