Council bosses go undercover

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UNDERCOVER officers have helped to boost the number of local youth service users by providing a council-run scheme with invaluable constructive feedback.

St Helens Council sent in undercover senior managers to secretly test local youth services against strict Ofsted criteria.

Not only did this lead to an improvement in the service, it also boosted the number of youngsters getting involved by a staggering 58 per cent.

The number of youngsters volunteering with the service also rose from 84 to 125.

The youth project, launched by the council following a 2009 restructure, has now been cited for its good practice by the Children and Young People Now magazine.

Councillor Sue Murphy, St Helens Council’s cabinet member for neighbourhoods, safer communities and youth, said: “We were keen to develop robust ways of measuring performance to ensure our services were meeting young people’s needs and making a real difference to their lives. We have been delighted with the response.”