Haringey's Young People Vow to keep on Fighting!

The Save Haringey Youth Service group continue to cause – to put it mildly – quite a stir. Last Thursday they spoke eloquently at the full Haringey Council, rendering its Leader speechless. Nevertheless the meeting agreed to a savage 75% cut to the Youth Service.

In addition the group released this account of the evening’s proceeding, which begins,

Young people of Haringey stood proud as they morally embarrassed their politicians on Thursday who were deciding on the 75% cut to the youth service. Cllrs Reith and Goldberg who have always claimed that they were consulting young people had the record set straight with the truth from the young people they claimed they consulted. Symeon Brown and Fumni Abari [who is the UK Youth Parliament Rep for LONDON] gave two eloquent speeches that will be viewed as a historical moment for young people across the UK.

Both Symeon and Fumni spoke at the Haringey full council meeting in what can be described as the most important day of the boroughs 40 year existence. Their speeches were part of the Save Haringey Youth Services campaign to stop the council from cutting the budget to the youth service by 75% which was being decided upon by politicians during the meeting. Haringey Youth Service currently runs over 21 projects to over 4400 teenagers across the borough including 13 youth centres [8 of which had already been closed by the council in the last 6 months] and the Haringey youth council.

If Haringey council think this is the end of the matter, the young people suggest otherwise.

To our supporters

Thank you for all the emails and in-box messages of support and concern following the politicians spineless decisions to support a 75% cut to our youth services in Haringey. We were actually expecting it, after all even before the secretary could finish typing the minutes from the Overview & Scrutiny committee meeting where the cut was not recommended the council had already informed the youth workers that their jobs were deleted on Feb 1st 2011 and the full council meeting was just a theatre performance to fool the public in believing that democracy exists.

As we have kept telling the council, we maybe young but we are not dumb. We went to the meeting with a clear strategy [we had two deputations for a start!] and we achieved what we planned to. Publicly they admitted we were not consulted blaming national government time-scales. It was never an option for the council to forgo a proper consultation with us, as it is our legal right to be consulted under section 507B of the Education & Inspections Act 2006. They continued to state that they will be carrying out an impact assessment after they have cut and reshaped, the actual understanding of how this cut will effect our safeguarding has been to their own admittance is a last thought. The statement was diabolically negligent from a council who lets face it has the worst safeguarding history in the UK. But we thank Cllr Reith for the ammunition she provided us, admittingly it surpassed what we hoped we could get.

The only thing we did not expect was Goldberg’s ability to set himself up for a public fall, he showed clearly that he was using the young people of Haringey to fulfil his party’s desires to enhance their national political position. Some could even suggest it proves that the closure of the youth centres is politically motivated to strengthen the case against the equally disgraceful coalition government. Rather than be the shield of our lives he attempted to turn the children of his voters in to his pawns to score political points and that is disgraceful. But again we would like to thank Cllr Goldberg for the own goal he scored.

In a nutshell the meeting went better than we expected and we planned it very well even if we say so ourselves

SHYS, Haringey Youth Council [HYC] and Haringey UK Youth Parliament [HUKYP] have worked together thus far and will continue to do so, we will concentrate our efforts now to challenge this decision and further actions they take. Let us assure you even if the doors of our youth centres close and our much loved youth workers are gone to help other young people who are lucky to live in a borough where their politicians actually care for their youth population, we will continue our fight to our right of a properly funded and [given the much exposed actions of the current head of youth service] properly managed youth service.

If the politicians hoped that now they made this decision we would go away, they are very wrong. We have caused the politicians of Haringey much embarrassment during our exposure of their constant dismissal of our legal rights and our fears for the safeguarding to our welfare. Now we formally know their intentions we can no longer be silenced by their empty promises and the public shame will not only continue it will increase.

That is our pledge to you and unlike the politicians we keep our pledges.

One comment

  1. […] Haringey Council has made a 75% cut to the youth service. The council runs over 21 projects to over 4400 teenagers across the borough including 13 youth centres (8 of which, according to the Save Haringey Youth Services group, had already been closed by the council in the last 6 months) and the Haringey Youth Council. Members of the Save Haringey Youth Services group spoke at a Council meeting about the value of the service. […]

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