I love the energy and passion that young people bring to political discussion. It is always a tonic to hear their ideas and enthusiasm.
I recently met three local young people who are Stockport’s representatives in the UK Youth Parliament, which is made up of 11-18 year olds from all over the country.
Members of the Youth Parliament are elected locally and they campaign to bring about social change and to be the voice of young people locally.
Faith Oliver, aged 15 and Alex Davies, 16, who are at Stockport School, are two of Stockport’s representatives in the Youth Parliament. I met them recently and they outlined to me their chosen campaign on mental health, which is an issue that worries many young people.
I recently met some Stockport business leaders who talked about their frustrations over the confusion and uncertainty around Brexit.
They represented a spread of businesses from services to manufacturing and they were all worried about the knock-on effect on local jobs, investment and business.
There have been three tortuous years of Brexit negotiations whilst Theresa May tried to get a deal with the EU that would not disadvantage the UK’s economy after we left. And still, there is no deal. And now she has resigned as Prime Minister and Boris Johnson, who said getting a deal from the EU, would be easy wants to take her place. He, of course, resigned as Foreign Secretary when the going got hard.
The next couple of months are going to be dominated by the contenders to be the next Prime Minister promising that they can sort the mess out. They can’t. Jeremy Corbyn has also promised what he can’t deliver. The majority of MP’s are opposed to leaving without any trading arrangement in place with the EU because we know how damaging that will be and that the least well off will bear the greatest cost.
The only deal that is on offer is a deal that Theresa May couldn’t get support for. The EU have said they are not reopening negotiations.
A general election would solve nothing.
Confidence in the two main parties is at an all-time low so it is unlikely that either party would be returned with an overall majority. So I think we should withdraw our notice to quit, remain in the EU and reform and address the concerns that people have.
That would give local business the certainty they need and our children the future they deserve.
I was interviewed for Newsnights special report on children who are placed in unregistered children’s homes. They found that 5,000 children are living in pop-up children’s homes across England. The full report can be watched on BBC iPlayer until 20th May 2019 here – https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0005bsc/newsnight-20052019
More information below.
Sixteen year old children are being dumped in a shady ‘twilight world’ of unregistered homes making them a magnet for paedophiles and drugs gangs, according to a survey of police forces.
Deep concerns about unregistered semi-independent homes for children aged 16 plus have been highlighted in the survey conducted by Ann Coffey MP, the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Missing Children and Adults.
These 16 plus establishments are off the radar, unregistered and not subject to any inspections, unlike children’s homes for under 16s which are properly registered and inspected by Ofsted.
The All Party Parliamentary Inquiry for Runaway and Missing Children and Adults, is currently conducting a Parliamentary inquiry into the risks faced by the record numbers of children who go missing after being sent to live in children’s homes miles away from where they were born and brought up.
As part of the inquiry Ms Coffey wrote to all 43 police chief constables to ask for their observations about the risks faced by young people who go missing from out of area placements.
It was striking that the majority of police forces flagged up strong concerns about the increasing problem of children aged 16 plus being placed out of borough in unregistered semi-independent homes.
Amongst the police concerns highlighted about the shady 16 plus accommodation: