Councillor challenges local authority over poor use of Redcar's TunedIn centre

Darlington and Stockton Times: TunedIn centre in Redcar TunedIn centre in Redcar

A CENTRE designed to engage with young people in a seaside town is failing to meet its targets, according to a councilor.

Liberal Democrat Josh Mason has challenged Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council to improve attendance at the TunedIn centre in Redcar as he claims only 1,407 young people have used the purpose built centre since it opened its doors in November 2012.

However, the council’s cabinet member for children’s services and education warned that the age parameter could lead to problems with translating the data in the Scrutiny Board report.

Coun Mason blames management of the centre for it falling short of its government set target of attracting 12,000 users, aged between 11 and 19, over five years. The building was funded by the Department for Education.

He said: “The Labour Council is failing taxpayers and failing our young people. Since it opened, TunedIn has attracted only around eighteen new visits a week from young people, according to the Council’s own figures.

“At the scrutiny meeting, I once again called on the Labour Council to change the facility’s dismal management and their priority from profit making to providing the service it was designed for.”

Councillor Joan Guy, cabinet member for children’s services and education, defended the authority’s use of the building.

She said: “Comparing figures for the number of young people, aged 11 to 19, engaging with a specific programme, against a target for young people of all ages and all activities, is misleading.

“For example, last month TunedIn hosted a choir festival in which 493 primary school pupils participated, who are obviously outside that age bracket.

“That was just one event and there have been many more.

“The scrutiny report was never intended to show a full breakdown of user numbers and should be considered in its wider context.

“As such, it gives a snapshot of a specific type of activities available, who is engaging with them and shows that the venue is a success.”

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