26th Feb, 2020

New homes for vulnerable teens

Malvern Editorial 28th Jun, 2015 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

A GROUP of vulnerable teenagers which currently cost taxpayers £2.5million-a-year are set to benefit from new council-run accommodation.

Worcestershire County Council’s cabinet has agreed to invest £1million into the scheme which will see 83 young people move into new homes.

Some of those teenagers are deemed as ‘children in need’ while others are subject to a Care Order, which means the county council has to provide post-16 supported living accommodation.

But due to the amount it has been costing taxpayers, the Tory leadership has backed a new project which will help save £312,000 a year.

Speaking at the meeting, which was held last Thursday (June 18), Coun John Campion, cabinet member for children and families, said the move was a ‘very important development’.

“In the longer term we will review this, but this purchase will be a capital asset for this authority for the future, so it is not like we are spending £1million and will never get that back,” he said.

“It is an investment that we will hopeful realise in the future.

“It is also important to remember that the council’s own in-house accommodation provision is constantly rated as good by

Ofsted for good levels of care, services and safeguarding for our young people.

“So I am proud to be proposing something that is not only financially sensible for taxpayers but also a good choice for keeping our young people safe within the county.”

The types of properties being explored by the county council include one and two bed flats, as well as three and four bed houses, which which will have staff on site.

And Coun Simon Geraghty, cabinet member for economy, skills and infrastructure, said it was important to press ahead with the move.

“The basic numbers speak for themselves,” Coun Geraghty added. “A total of 83 young people are costing £2.5million and I think most people would say ‘this is a lot of money’.

“So we need to make sure we are delivering those services in the most efficient way.

“I think this is very sensible and very good for our financial management so I am absolutely convinced we should act with some pace over this matter.”

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