London Borough of Tower Hamlets (LBTH) Youth Services is undergoing the seventh major review of how it operates in eight years. The intention is for Youth Services to be folded into new ‘Birth to 19’ offering which will consist of two new services.

These will be:

  1. Youth Justice and Young Peoples’ Service that will combine the Youth Service with the Youth Justice Service
  2. Early Help and Children and Families Service that will combine the Integrated Early Years’ Service with the Early Help Service

Both services will fall under the Youth and Commissioning Division of the Children and Culture Directorate.

Zoom meeting tonight

More information about the Birth to 19 consultation can be found here where there is also a Zoom link for a Zoom meeting on Thursday 17 December, between 7pm-8pm to discuss the proposals and all are welcome to join the meeting.

Please note that this is NOT a council webcast which anyone can watch – it is a closed Zoom meeting with a limited number of attendees. If you want to attend you need to email Caleigh Freeman ASAP.

Youth Service reviews timeline

2012

In June 2012, the entire Youth Service is moved from the Children, Schools and Families directorate (CSF) into the Directorate of Communities, Localities, and Culture (CLC). See http://democracy.towerhamlets.gov.uk/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=3720&T=2

2013

Another Youth Service restructure took place between April and Nov 2013. There was also an Internal Audit investigation in October.

2014

An in depth review of the service was due to commence in early 2014. But an allegation of fraud within the Rapid Response Team (RRT) was made and the service review was paused pending the completion of an investigation into the allegation.

2015/2016

The paused review of service provision was restarted.

2016

01 January 2016 Ronke Martins-Taylor was employed as Youth Service Manager and was given the tasks of sorting out the service.

April 2016

Integrated Youth Service transferred back to the Children’s Directorate.

It is revealed that there were around 75 investigations currently underway into the activities of Youth Services under Lutfur Rahman.

Initial Youth Services review undertaken during March and April.

In May Mayor Biggs announces that the review has ‘uncovered historic shortcomings* in the way youth services in Tower Hamlets are delivered’ and the council will adopt an ‘interim delivery model’ while a new long term model for Youth Service is developed.

*Shortcomings?. Much of the corruption undertaken by Youth Service and other LBTH officers would not be properly revealed until Mark Edmunds took his case for unfair dismissal to the Employment Tribunal.

2017

Council introduces a mixed-economy Youth Service model after another review.

2018

In February Mayor Biggs re-launches the Youth Service.

2019

November – another Youth Service review is revealed by Love Wapping.

2020

In July the latest Youth Service reorganisation is approved. It is stated that this reorganisation will be subject to another review during the next 12 months.

4th December the Birth to 19-years consultation quietly appears on the Let’s Talk Tower Hamlets home page.

EEE Comment

As of December 2020 no member of LBTH Youth Services has been charged with any criminal offence, all internal disciplinary processes have been dropped and Youth Service personnel given financial settlements by LBTH.

Youth Services corruption is the real issue

After our story on the sham Liveable Street disability consultations carried out by LBTH (or not carried out to be accurate) confirmed the view of many residents that in Tower Hamlets the result of any LBTH consultation process should be doubted, the Enquirer has zero confidence that the Birth to 19 consultation will be any different.

Youth Services are the core of the continued corruption in Tower Hamlets.

The corruption did not start under Mayor Rahman and it has not finished under Mayor Biggs.

The Enquirer and the Wapping Mole know because when they are not writing about corruption they are researching it and that takes a huge amount of time.

For every minute you spend reading about corruption in Tower Hamlets courtesy of EEE there are several weeks of research required. All of this is unfunded apart from occasional donations by very kind readers.

In recent months EEE has not been publishing many stories because we are researching several corruption stories, none of them trivial.

Youth Service questions to be asked

Some of the questions that should be asked about the latest Youth Service reorganisation are as follows.

  • How many Youth Service personnel are in post despite not being qualified for their role?
  • How many Youth Service personnel have submitted false documentation to obtain their positions?
  • How many personnel are in post despite not having the correct level of security vetting stipulated in their job descriptions such as Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks?
  • How many personnel are employed despite Metropolitan Police officers having previously refused to work with them as a result of their behaviour while employed by LBTH?
  • Youth Service personnel are key to the implementation of the Government’s PREVENT policy that aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. When were Youth Services last independently audited to check that their PREVENT duties were actually being carried out?

There are many more questions, but these should indicate the type of corruption that is still endemic in LBTH Youth Services.

Tier 1 borough

The other questions are much more serious than those above and we will not be providing any details on them as we are still working on those particular lines of investigation.

You may consider it fanciful that anything could be more serious than a PREVENT policy that has been completely subverted in a part of London that the Home Office has designated as being a Tier 1 borough, representing the highest perceived risks of extremism.

Yet there are.

Keep reading the East End Enquirer.

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As community journalists we do exactly what it says on our tin – we work for the community.

In Tower Hamlets, which covers most of London’s East End, that means we spend a lot of time investigating allegations of political corruption.

It is an unfortunate fact that the poorest local authority in the country is still beset by the highest levels of corruption.

As Love Wapping we were instrumental in exposing the electoral corruption of Mayor Lutfur Rahman.