As part of wider government action on deficit reduction, the Secretary of State for Justice, Michael Gove, has required the YJB to make £12m (5%) savings from its 2015/16 budget.
The £12m required is in addition to a deficit the YJB already has in its 2015/16 budget as a result of earlier cuts. Efficiency measures already taken have reduced this deficit to £1.5m – meaning that it now needs to find a total saving of £13.5m in-year.
A consultation has been published setting out how the YJB believes the savings required, can best be made.
The YJB is proposing to make the savings through a range of measures it has identified which total £4.5m. It is then proposing that the remaining £9m of savings are made by reducing the Youth Justice Grant to youth offending teams (YOTs).
Lin Hinnigan, YJB Chief Executive, said:
In the last six years we have delivered £287m of savings across the youth justice system, primarily as a result of the reduction in the numbers of young people in custody. Having already made such significant savings, we do not have many options remaining for where we can save more.
It is vital that those working in the youth justice sector give us their views so we can continue to work together to find the best way forward. We want to protect the successes we have achieved together, while finding the savings required. We will consider all possible options.
The number of young people in custody has fallen from 2,418 in 2009/10 to 1,048 (or 57% reduction) in 2014/15 (provisional). The Youth Justice Grant has decreased by £58m from £143m in 2009/10 to £85m this year.
The consultation will run for three weeks until September 16 2015 when the YJB will evaluate the responses received. It will then publish the main findings on its website.
Notes to editors
The Youth Justice Board (YJB) for England and Wales is a non-departmental public body created by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 to oversee the youth justice system for England and Wales. It is sponsored by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and its Board members are appointed by the Secretary of State for Justice.
The YJB set this year’s budget in February 2015 against an anticipated cash allocation from the MoJ of £241.3m. Prior to the Secretary of State’s decision to further reduce the YJB’s allocation, its confirmed allocation from MoJ was £229.1m, leaving a shortfall of £12.2m.
The YJB has managed this £12.2m shortfall reducing its budgetary pressure to £1.5m, before the Secretary of State’s decision to reduce the YJB’s allocation by a further £12m.
On 4 June 2015 the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a package of savings to be made across government in 2015/16, the current financial year, to reduce the public deficit. The savings amount to £3b and include savings of £249m from the MoJ’s budget.
On 20 July 2015 the Secretary of State for Justice decided that the YJB’s allocation from the Ministry of Justice should be reduced by £12m (or 5%) in the current financial year.
This leaves the YJB with a total of £13.5m savings which it still needs to find this financial year and is now consulting on.
The Youth Justice Grant is presently set at £85m for 2015/16. This represents a reduction of £7m, or 8%, from the level in 2014/15 and £58m, or 40%, from 2009/10.
The YJB’s 2015/16 budget allocation was confirmed by the MoJ in December 2014, following which the YJB wrote to local authorities to confirm the level of grant that would be allocated to them. The Youth Justice Grant makes up approximately 30% of the overall funding available to YOTs.
To set the outstanding £13.5m saving in context, since 2009 the YJB has already delivered savings of £287m (or approximately 55%), reducing its budget from £516m to £229m.
The reduced number of young people in custody has helped the YJB deliver these savings. Last year the YJB decommissioned 360 places in the secure estate, the majority of which were at Hassockfield secure training centre and Hindley under-18 young offender institution (YOI).
The £4.5m of savings the YJB identified in its consultation document, which are in addition to the £9m it is proposing to make from the Youth Justice Grant, would be achieved through measures including:
- savings from staff vacancies in YOIs
- pausing part of the roll out of the Minimising and Managing Physical Restraint training programme
- making reductions in YJB costs and recovering grant not used last year by Resettlement Consortia operating in high custody areas to reduce reoffending.