Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee considers a broad range of important issues. This month: Youth and Play; a Start Well Strategy; Adoption; Managing allegations against adults who work with children; and a COVID19 update.
Having sat through more than two hours of scrutiny, it felt almost like another world without a climate crisis. For further jibes concerning the lack of recognition of the climate emergency, please see my previous posting. Below is just a flavour of statements made and of discussions which transpired.
A Fallowfield councillor, spoke passionately about a recent murder of a sixteen-year-old in her ward, adding context to the Youth and Play report. Excluded from school, the victim was known to police and other agencies for acts of serious violence dating back to at least October 2020. Chances to intervene were missed. Funding cuts over the last eleven years have led to there being no specific youth provision in Fallowfield.
A huge sector within Manchester’s flourishing economy is a criminal drugs trade, it was stated, with young people being groomed and preyed upon. ‘A dead end for this young boy.’
The Chair then expressed blood-boiling rage at the audacity of Boris Johnson and Pritti Patel turning up at the Hideout Youth Zone in Gorton to take credit for something to which they had no input. It was funded with a large donation from a benefactor and Council revenue, in a city from which the Tories have withdrawn £400m with consequent reduction in staff and services.
Issues of poverty arose when considering the Start Well Strategy, with the withdrawal of the £20 uplift from those in receipt of Universal Credit, and zero-hour contracts attracting criticism.