Today Labour will begin consulting on a pledge to implement a statutory service for young people.
Cat Smith, Shadow Minister for Voter Engagement and Youth Affairs, will host a roundtable discussion in Westminster this afternoon with representatives from Unite, Unison and key youth organisations including ChooseYouth.
Currently councils are under no obligation to provide a youth service. The area is one of the first to face swingeing cuts under the Conservative government’s austerity measures, which have seen local authorities experience unprecedented funding reductions.
New analysis by Labour shows that total spending on services for young people has been cut by £765m over the last six years. According to the research, net expenditure on youth services reached £1,122,973 in 2010/2011, but the figure has now fallen to £358,304.
Unison’s 2016 report, A Future at Risk, found that funding had been reduced by £387m since the Tories took power. It estimated that the budget squeezes had led to the closure of over 600 youth centres, taking away nearly 140,000 places for young people.
A statutory service would guarantee young people across the country access to youth provision and facilities.
Cat Smith said: “Years of damaging Tory cuts and the systematic removal of youth services has left a generation of young people without the opportunity to play a full part in our communities.
“The need for a statutory duty for every local authority to provide a minimum level of youth provision has never been stronger, which is why Labour will consult on the implementation of a statutory youth service.
“Rebuilding our youth service requires urgent action and fresh thinking. We look forward to working young people, youth workers and communities as we prepare for government.”
Last week Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell confirmed he wanted to include a commitment to making youth services statutory in Labour’s manifesto for the next general election.
In 2011, the government’s own research into the August riots that year noted that young people felt targeted by spending cuts with the ending of Educational Maintenance Allowances (EMA) and services cutback.
The report published by the Cabinet Office concluded that youth club closures and wider lack of youth provision had been a factor in the riots.
June 8 brought tremendous changes to the British political landscape – quite the opposite of what Theresa May had intended when she called the election: there is now a minority Conservative government. The Labour Party is ready to move from being a ‘government in waiting’ to being the Government, and Lancaster & Fleetwood is no longer a marginal Labour seat.
Most importantly, on June 8, Cat Smith was re-elected as our MP in a resounding victory, demonstrating the confidence people have in her as our constituency MP. She has worked so hard for every part of the constituency since her election two years ago, and people recognise her worth. Cat was the most vulnerable member of the Shadow Cabinet, defending a majority of 1.265. Now her majority is 6.661 votes and she won 55% of the vote, representing a swing of 5.73% from Conservative to Labour. We all congratulate Cat on her magnificent result. We also thank the hundreds of volunteers who worked so hard in the campaign in many different ways.
Now we must be ready for the next step – a fresh General Election in which we must finally dislodge the wobbly, chaotic Conservative minority government, propped up by giving cash to a reactionary Northern Ireland party. We must work even harder to gain power to govern For The Many Not The Few.
So – while we can celebrate, there’s no time to relax: another election could be called any day! While it’s great not to be a marginal seat, we can expect less outside support, which will be needed elsewhere. So we’ll need to organise, campaign and raise funds even more vigorously than ever. But we’re ready for it!
THE LABOUR PARTY MANIFESTO 2017
A manifesto for a better, fairer Britain.
"Every election is a choice. What makes this election different is that the choice is starker than ever before. You can choose more of the same: the rich getting richer, more children in poverty, our NHS failing and our schools and social care in crisis. Or you can vote for the party that has a plan to change all of this – The Labour Party."
(An extract from the Forward) Foreword
Since her election just two years ago, Cat Smith has won praise from people across our city for her energetic and effective work.
The contrast with our previous Conservative MP couldn't be starker, but despite not being seen in Lancaster since losing the election, the Conservatives want to bring him back.
This seat has always been on a knife-edge - the Conservatives won it by just 333 votes in 2010, and at the 2015 election, just 700 people changing their votes could have seen them win again.
Your vote can make all the difference - but only if you use it wisely.
If you don't want to see a return to a do-nothing Conservative MP, who didn't even have an office in the constituency, vote Cat Smith on Thursday 8 June.
After losing here in 2015, the Conservative candidate moved back to London. He wasn't seen or heard of locally until this election was called.
Cat Smith lives in Lancaster, got married here and loves Lancaster. She is committed to our area not just because it's her job, but because it's her home too.
Your choice at this election: Having a Lancaster voice in Westminster, or electing a London-based politician who's only here when there's a job going.
GET IN TOUCH
To see Cat Smith's track record of working week-in, week-out for our area, please join over 8,000 of us on her Facebook page: facebook.com/CatSmithMP
In the last two years, Cat Smith has helped deal with over 14,000 requests from local people. If you'd like to share your views or ask a question, please do get in touch:
phone: 01524 566 570
mail: 47 Scotforth Road, Lancaster, LA1 4SA
BE PART OF OUR CAMPAIGN
At the last election, the Conservatives threw vast amounts of money into their campaign, buying up the front page of the Lancaster Guardian. Labour's campaign is very different - talking to people on their doorsteps about the issues that matter to our community.
If you'd like to get involved, receive a window poster / garden stake or to find out more, please do get in touch or sign up at www.lancasterandfleetwoodlabour.org/volunteer
76% of Labour voters now say we should
commit to changing our voting system to
Countries which use PR are much more likely to
be the kind of social democracies
that we in the Labour Party want to create
This report sets out the reasons why the Labour Party must listen to the wisdom of this majority and commit to Proportional Representation in our manifesto.
First Past the Post has become indefensible
FPTP is bad for Labour and bad for democracy
The answer is Proportional Representation
PR will strengthen progressive politics
PR will enable us to build a good society
The time is now
After months of campaigning Lancaster Labour was in a mood to celebrate at the conclusion of the Lancashire County count, with increased majorities in both Lancaster East, and Lancaster South East.
Thank you to everyone who campaigned with us, voted for us, and especially to the candidates who worked hard in divisions that weren't target seats.
The overall result in Lancashire was disappointing, but we know that Lizzi Collinge (re-elected in Lancaster East) and Erica Lewis (elected in Lancaster South East) will be strong voices for Lancaster.
A general election has been called for Thursday 8th June, and in Lancaster & Fleetwood were on the door the evening the election had been called, and Cat Smith joined us as soon as parliamentary commitments allowed her to return to the constituency.
Labour Candidates for Lancashire County Council in our Constituency
The Labour candidate is Lorraine Beavers, who has been the CountyCouncillor for Fleetwood West since 2013 and is now standing for election in Fleetwood East.
Tel: 01253 773806
Fleetwood West & Cleveleys West
The Labour candidate is Ruth Duffy
Tel: 0790 164 8155
The Labour candidate is Mark Cutter
Tel: 0771 584 3062
Facebook: Mark Cutter for Lancaster Central
Twitter account @TheMarkCutter
Lizzi Collinge has been the County Councillor for Lancaster East since 2016 and is standing for re-election.
Tel: 07491 584745
Facebook - Lizzi Collinge for Lancaster East
Twitter account @LizziCollinge
Lancaster South East
The Labour candidate is Erica Lewis
Tel: 07597 520 444
Facebook: Erica Lewis for Lancaster South East
Twitter account @_erica_lewis
Lancaster Rural East
The Labour candidate is Matthew Whittaker
Wyre Rural Central
The Labour candidate is Janet Williams
Tel: 01253 799161
Wyre Rural East
The Labour candidate is Ross Sykes
Lancashire County Council –
What it does
This is based on a talk about LCC at a recent Lancaster Branch meeting, given by Michael Tomlinson, LCC member for Leyland Central.
LCC is responsible for these Services ……
- Adult Social Care – Older people, Vulnerable Adults, Learning Disabilities
- Children’s Social Care- Fostering & Adoption, Children in Care, Youth Offending, Special Educational Needs & Disabilities
- Schools - Support and Advice on School Improvement, School Places, School Transport, Outdoor Education
- Public Health- Health Visitors, School Nurses, WPEH (Wellbeing, Protection & Early Help service)
- Highways & Transport Policy
- Library Service
- Waste Disposal
- Economic Development-Jobs, Skills, Growth
But not responsible for these Services ……
- Waste Collection
- Parks & Playgrounds
- Environmental Health/Enforcement
- Litter & Dog Fouling
- Buses & Trains
Where LCC spends money:
- Adult Services £317,674,000
- Children’s Services £119,421,000
- Community Services £134,239,000
- Public Health £28,860,000
- Development £35,574,000
- Others £77,252,000
The Challenge Ahead
- Currently spending over £100m a year more than we get in
- Funding from Central Government is falling (down by £153,000,000 from 2011/12 to 2016/17) and will soon go
- Demand for Adult Services and Children’s Services is growing
- Predicted to run out of money by end of 2019/20
- At the same time the local Health Service is predicted to be around £800 million adrift of the funding it needs by 2020
Why campaign & vote for Labour in LCC?
- Labour is currently the largest group, but is a minority administration, generally supported by the LibDems
- We have....introduced the Living Wage for LCC employees, signed the Ethical Care Charter, delivered the Heysham Link, helped create over 4,500 jobs and apprenticeships, have 95% of primary schools rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’
- We will….Continue to stand up for those who are most vulnerable, grow Lancaster’s economy even further, look to support green energy schemes, invest in school buildings
Cat writes about the Tory ministers and their plans to trial the use of requiring ID in polling stations.
While Labour supports measures to tackle electoral fraud, requiring voters to produce specific forms of photo ID risks denying millions of electors a vote. The Electoral Commission in 2016 reported that 3.5 million electors – 7.5 percent of the electorate – would have no acceptable piece of photo ID (passport or driving licence are the likely requirements). We must not underestimate the significance of this. By introducing strict identification laws, there is a risk of disenfranchising disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, those already most excluded from the political process.
There is also no evidence to suggest that electoral fraud is widespread in the UK. A total of 665 cases of alleged voter fraud and complaints about elections last year, out of a total of 51.4 million votes cast in all electoral contests in that period. That is only 1 case for every 77,000 votes cast, and of the 665 cases, only 130 related to voting offences! The Electoral Reform Society dismissed the voter ID trails as “a sledgehammer to crack a nut” and urged the government to “think very carefully before introducing barriers to voting. Local Authorities have also started to challenge the Government.
When questioned on this, Chris Skidmore, minister for the constitution, admitted that voter fraud was not a significant issue. The minister argued that the trials were more about tackling the perception of electoral fraud and installing confidence in our electoral system. Apparently despite the risk of reducing voter particpation!