Wednesday, July 04, 2007
The future's bright
It was absolutely fantastic to see so many young people round the table. The group is made up of representatives from youth groups and schools, together with Councillors from across the parties, and staff from the Youth Service. Members get the chance to debate how money is spent on services for young people, and are consulted with on lots of major developments in Bury to get a young person's point of view.
Last night's meeting talked about the development of The Rock in Bury, and we received a very useful report from young people on potential inclusions in the development to make it more attractive to people of all ages. There was also a debate about five-a-side football pitches in Fishpool, and reports from the recent election to the UK Youth Parliament, including one from our recently elected Member of that body, Catherine Rawsthorne.
One key concern that young people raised was relevant to me as Bury's representative to Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority. The concessionary fare for bus travel for young people has rocketed in recent years, and the situation has got particularly bad in the wake of the government policy to provide free travel to the over 65s. Whilst the intention of free travel for elderly people is noble, unfortunately it has led to the shortfall in revenue being filled by charging young people much, much more. So now it is costing young people loads oey to get to school, college, work or training. This is not acceptable and I will be asking my colleagues on the PTA to look into this matter urgently to come up with a more equitable solution.
But overall the meeting was a great success, and a tribute to the young people involved. They are a credit to the Borough, and represent the bright future we have if we nurture their obvious talents and enthusiasm.