Cambridge rejects youth service tenders

Town of Cambridge Youth Service clients Jesse Leah, Emily Hilston and Kira Panneck. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au   d492844a
Town of Cambridge Youth Service clients Jesse Leah, Emily Hilston and Kira Panneck. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d492844a

THE future of Town of Cambridge’s youth services remains in doubt after it rejected potential providers that expressed an interest in running a service.

The Town closed 86 Cambridge Street in West Leederville on June 28 and in April, called for tenders for contractors to provide youth services and programs.

Perth Inner City Youth Services (PICYS) executive officer Andrew Hall said it applied to run the service for about half the cost the Town had been spending.

But it chose not to appoint a contractor and a spokeswoman said the service would remain closed.

“So seeing the Town cease its own youth service operations and make their youth services staff redundant, and then not award a contract in their own procurement process is a little disappointing in terms of process, yet more concerning to know what they intend doing,” he said.

“One can only hope they will consult young people and those who work closely with young people to deliver a positive and meaningful youth service.”

Mr Hall said they still hoped to work with the Town to develop its proposed Supporting Our Youth social inclusion initiative.

Council raised concerns about the cost of the service when it chose not to endorse the youth services review and strategy in September and the tender sought a provider to deliver the full range of youth services and programs “in the most cost effective manner” from July 1.

The review said based on 2016 Census data, 17.5 per cent of the Town’s population was aged 12 to 25 and it provided the only youth drop-in facility with youth worker support in the western suburbs.

The Town spokeswoman said it would investigate “all available options…including a collaborative approach with neighbouring western suburbs councils and report to the council by no later than September.”

“The Town’s community development officers will continue to be available to provide assistance in the interim,” she said.

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