Derbyshire youth workers receive redundancy letters

Redundancy letters have been sent to 31 youth workers in Derbyshire, it has emerged.

The news comes after the Conservative-led county council announced earlier this year that it was making changes to its service which supports vulnerable children and teenagers.

Derbyshire County Council's Matlock headquarters.

Derbyshire County Council's Matlock headquarters.

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A spokesperson for Derbyshire County Council said: "We are changing the way we offer early help to children and families in Derbyshire to ensure we are targeting those most in need, and making the best use of our limited resources.

"The proposals to alter the service to meet the changing needs of our communities have been through a public consultation process held in October 2018 and were agreed by cabinet in January.

"Throughout this review we have kept staff fully informed and have done everything we can to lessen the impact on those affected, including redeploying some into alternative roles, re-training and opportunities for voluntary redundancy.

"Where all avenues have been exhausted, redundancy letters have been sent to staff as part of this process. This includes 31 youth workers, youth support workers and assistant youth support workers. We appreciate that this will be a worrying time which is why we will continue to support our staff.

"Under the new early help structure, we will continue to support young people and continue to employ staff that will work with them. This includes 22 full-time equivalent early help practitioners (youth) and nine full-time equivalent youth and community engagement workers."

The spokesperson added: "The review is still underway and the 31 people who have received letters are still being supported so may be re-deployed or could apply for the new roles which means the final redundancy figure may actually be less."

Overall, the county council is looking to cut £63million from its total £500m annual budget by 2023.

Last month, the county council's leader called for fairer funding from new Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Barry Lewis was one of 33 council leaders to sign an open letter to the Daily Telegraph, urging Mr Johnson to follow up on his promise to 'level up' funding - with shire county areas missing out on £3.2billion of funding per year compared to other parts of England.

In the letter, the council leaders said 'for decades our historic shire counties have been left behind our major cities and urban areas'.

They added: "Mr Johnson knows from his time as London mayor how the capital benefitted from more generous funding, enabling him to invest its infrastructure and local services, while cutting council tax.

"It is time our shire counties were given the same opportunities."

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