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
- 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
- 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
- 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.