The Election: The YMCA leads the way in making concrete demands

As news of the snap election broke we were critical of the bland call from leading voluntary youth organisations for the political parties to commit themselves to young people.  Indeed we considered drafting an IDYW Open Letter focused on specific demands, which would address the precarious nature of young people’s lives today. However events have overtaken us. All the party manifestos are out on the table. The pressing question is ‘for whom to vote?’ We will address this dilemma in a proposal for discussion next week. Suffice to say it will not advocate voting Conservative. After this obvious conclusion the choices become more complicated, even if the Labour Party’s manifesto is hailed as ‘radical and responsible’.

In the meantime it would be unfair not to recognise that a number of youth organisations have indeed sharpened their demands upon the politicians.

Perhaps the most impressive contribution is the YMCA General Election Manifesto 2017, which under the five headings, The security of a home; Ready to tackle the world; Positive mind and body; Activities that develop character; Empower and invest in the next generation, details the steps that need to be taken by government.

For example, under The security of a home, the following recommendations are made:

  • Look again at proposals to reform the
    supported housing sector to ensure that
    any new funding mechanism properly
    reflects the true cost of delivering
    supported housing
  • Abolish the regulations that remove
    automatic entitlement to housing
    support for 18 to 21-year-olds
  • Exempt all young people moving out
    of supported housing from the Shared
    Accommodation Rate
  • Promote and invest in the development
    and supply of alternative models of low-cost
    housing such as Y:Cube
  • Introduce a national Help to Rent
    scheme to support young people to pay
    for a rental deposit
  • Ban unreasonable letting agent fees in
    the private rented sector
  • Introduce a rental cap to limit the
    amount landlords can increase rents
    annually
  • Legislate to increase the length of
    tenancies in the private rented sector
  • Extend funding available to local
    authorities to enable them to deliver
    their homelessness duties

In terms of youth work the YMCA recommends – Reclassify youth services as a statutory service, requiring each local authority to have in a place a youth services strategy.

The YMCA document is well worth your attention and see also

Youth-led 99% Campaign Call to Action for forthcoming UK elections manifesto

National Youth Agency Manifesto

and to close here’s an example of putting local candidates under pressure.

polithustbrighton

 

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