UNITED KINGDOM: Councils vow to listen to young people's views to prevent a repeat of recent riots

Summary: Councils affected by the recent riots have all said young people's views will be at the heart of their long-term answer to the violence.

[6 September 2011] - Riot-hit councils across the country are to consult young people on how to prevent a repeat of the disturbances and looting seen across England last month. 

CYP Now approached local authorities affected by the riots about how their children's services teams plan to respond to the events.

Croydon, Haringey, Enfield, Nottingham and Sandwell all said young people's views will be at the heart of their long-term answer to the violence.

Croydon Council is planning to hold several consultation events with young people, which will help shape the future of youth services in the wake of the riots.

"We are conducting a series of 'listening to young people' events to give young people the opportunity to feed back their views about recent events and what next steps we should take," a council spokesman explained.

"This will inform our work to provide more responsive provision to the needs of young people, which we are delivering through our new 'Step Up' revised programme of integrated youth support." 

Barbara Peacock, director of children's services in Sandwell, said her council's shadow youth cabinet organised a Question Time-style event with local police, council and race equality representatives to talk about the riots in West Bromwich. 

"The young people said they were very cross about (abolition of the) education maintenance allowance, student tuition fees and the potential consequences of changes to the benefits system," she explained. 

"While they were very clear and articulate that people were not rioting because of these policies, they said that they believe they are a generation that are being unfairly attacked by this government. That is what the young people were telling us."

Ayfer Orhan, Enfield's lead member for children's services, said the council is holding two listening events on the riots, one for young people in September and one for parents in October.

"Senior officers from the council, police, community organisations and the health service will attend along with local councillors to help shape the borough's longer-term response," she said.

Meanwhile, the local authority is reviewing all of its services for children and young people against a new framework, which builds on the Every Child Matters principles.

Haringey is also holding a series of events to speak to young people in the borough about the future of local youth services in the aftermath of the disturbances.

Youth promise

"We will produce a 'youth promise' to set out what young people can expect from youth services in Haringey," a spokeswoman explained. "We will also be working closely with the voluntary sector to identify gaps in universal provision and work collectively to address any perceived gaps."

Ian Curryer, director of children and families at Nottingham Council, said local services in the city will be reviewing the suitability of provision in response to the riots.

"This period of reflection is being co-ordinated by the Nottingham Crime and Drugs Partnership and will collate evidence and learning from all of the statutory services such as the police, city council and fire service, local community and voluntary sector partners, and a wide range of children, young people and young adults from all parts of the city," he said.


Further Information

Owner: Lauren Higgspdf: http://www.cypnow.co.uk/Youth_Work/article/1089211/councils-vow-listen-y...


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