Branch Secretary :

One Housing Group plan cuts to youth services

Cuts to youth services



One Housing Group (OHG) recently informed Unite of their intention to restructure its provision for youth support. Not surprisingly its recommendation was to make cuts to the service. Unite has voiced its strong opposition to this proposal and Steven O'Donnell, Unite's regional official has told OHG that their plans are unacceptable and asked them to reconsider. 




In typical corporate speak OHG propose to make youth workers redundant yet claim that this will not affect the quality of the service. Unite does not agree.



Preparing young people



OHG's own website states, "We know that our younger residents can face a range of pressures and influences in their everyday lives." They go on to say, "We help prepare our young residents aged 8-19 for the challenges of the modern world, supporting them to stay safe, contribute to society and be the best they can be." Unite does not believe that cutting services and jobs will enable them to achieve this goal and call on them to reconsider this act of corporate vandalism.



OHG is not a poor organisation and if it needs to find an extra £100,000 it could easily raise that money. This is an organization with a turnover of £213m and an operating surplus of £46.2m. If OHG are really having problems identifying the £100,000 necessary to avoid these cuts Unite is willing to discuss where the funds might be found to avoid kicking workers and youth in the teeth. 



Youth struggling



We don't believe it is acceptable for you to be cutting Youth Services especially at this time. There is plenty of news about how the youth are struggling both mentally and physically and we believe it displays a lack of empathy for those on the Frontline Services.  When Youth Funding is being cut by Local Authorities for an organisation like OHG to be doing likewise is simply socially irresponsible.



The Youth are seen as an easy target when cutting services as they are often seen as a group with little or no voice.  The services run for the youth are a lifeline to many of them and much needed.  The proposed savings are tiny when you look at the overall OHG budget.  This seems to be yet another example of OHG knowing the cost of everything and the value of nothing.




However, much you want to dress this up, it is an attack on jobs and services. 



The document claims that as a result of these proposals more services will be provided across a wider reach by working with "partners".  However, there is no mention of who these partners are and what this new service provision will look like or how it would be provided.  We don't accept that you can cut services yet improve them at the same time. 



To be removing these services with no clear replacement in place and to making roles redundant at a time when these roles are clearly needed by the service users is simply not acceptable and we cannot accept these proposals.



Think again



We would ask OHG to think again, do the right and socially responsible thing and retain these services and these jobs.



Unite the Housing workers is willing to support service users, tenants, workers and young people in a campaign to get OHG to see sense and reverse this terrible decision to cut vital youth services.



Nick Auvache



October 15th 2020





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