Sunday 26 August 2007

Young Person’s Commission Given Go-Ahead But We Would Still Like to See the Colour of H&F Council’s Money

The Police and H&F Council have agreed to set up a Youth Commission following lobbying from Cllr. Lisa Nandy (Lab), Cllr. Mike Cartwright (Lab) and myself. We have pushed for a more co-ordinated approach to youth matters between the local agencies as well as more and better youth facilities. This being one strand of the actions we are campaigning for H&F Council to take after the murder of a young man in Hammersmith Grove in the north of our ward last March.

Last month the Government promised significant increases in funding and published Aiming High for Young People: A Ten Year Strategy for Positive Activities. It’s a surprisingly interesting read which you can view by clicking here.

Young people are actually more likely to be the victims of crime than any other group in society. Research demonstrates that the majority of young people do not become involved in anti-social behaviour and very few indeed become involved in perpetrating crime. However, our young are bombarded with an increasing array of influences offering new challenges for parents, schools, government agencies and young people themselves as they aspire to instill values, boundaries, disciplines and skills that will take them forward in life.

The government report seeks to place these challenges into some perspective and chart a way forward. My fellow ward councillors and I are keen that H&F Council responds positively to this report. It makes that point itself saying “Delivering this Strategy, and wider reform of services and support for young people, will depend on the commitment of Local Authorities”. H&F Council must involve local young people as well as local parents in its commission. The H&F Youth Commission should be more than another Council talking-shop, and must be capable of making proposals that command fresh investment.

I’ll let you know how this develops.

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