The number of 10 to 17 year olds in Barnsley entering the youth justice system for the first time has fallen by 48 percent, from 117 in June 2015 to 61 in June 2017. This is Barnsley’s best ever performance and is also below the national and regional averages.
This significant reduction in first time entrants to the youth justice system demonstrates the targeted youth support service’s strong and effective partnership arrangements with South Yorkshire Police and other agencies, who work together to deliver integrated services. This helps put young people who’re taking risks or experiencing difficulties on the right path at an early stage, diverting them away from the criminal justice system.
These figures are taken from Barnsley Council’s quarterly performance report, published next week. It details the progress being made towards their three key priorities – a thriving and vibrant economy; people achieving their potential; and strong and resilient communities. It also identifies areas for improvement.
Cllr Alan Gardiner, Cabinet Spokesperson for Corporate Services, said: “This report highlights some outstanding areas of performance. We said we'd improve access to early help so that people can achieve their potential. These figures show we're delivering on that promise, and it is very encouraging to such a significant reduction in the number of young people entering the youth justice system.”
The town’s visitor economy was strengthened with the ‘Gods’ Land in God’s County: Ancient Egypt in Yorkshire’ temporary exhibition at Experience Barnsley. It featured over 200 Egyptian artefacts and highlighted the connections between Ancient Egypt and Yorkshire dating back to 1610. More than 1,300 people visited in the first week and the exhibition was the most successful since the museum opened in 2013.
Another highlight in the report was the announcement in December that the council had secured a stage start for the Tour de Yorkshire, as well as a substantial amount of the route in May 2018. Hosting this international event provides a great opportunity to engage with residents and businesses - whilst raising the profile of Barnsley and impacting positively on the local economy.
Other key achievements this quarter include:
- 13 empty homes in total returned to use as part of the HCA Empty Homes programme and Goldthorpe Clusters programme. This brings the yearly total to 26.
- Life expectancy for both males and females in Barnsley has improved, however the figures remain below the national and regional averages. The council is investing in prevention and early intervention to address unhealthy lifestyles and help residents stay healthy and independent.
- Over 6,000 people volunteering and contributing towards stronger communities since April 2017. This is greater than the council’s annual target and equates to £265,501 of cashable hours.
The council continues to encourage more jobs and good business growth. It supported 33 businesses begin trading and 55 to expand in the last three months of 2017. 12 businesses relocated to Barnsley which has created 25 new jobs and brought over £12.1m in private investment.
Cllr Gardiner added: “There’s more work to do, and we have challenges ahead, but this report shows how hard we’re working to make Barnsley a better place to work and live.”
For more information, the cabinet papers can be read here.