Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Newham Council AGM: Growing up in Newham

This speech was given by Cllr Ellie Robinson to the Newham Council AGM on May 19th.

“We grow up fast in Newham. Some children are carers by the time they are teenagers; others face the added responsibility of having to provide for their families, both here and sometimes abroad too.

Too many of our young people have felt the extraordinary pain of losing a friend, or a classmate, to violent crime. Others struggle everyday with growing up in a culture where the violence involves relatively few but where the fear it creates touches many more.

Thirty per cent of our population are under 20. We are the youngest area in the whole country. Their challenges are our challenges, but if we are in this together where are the government?

The Tories have slashed funding to our community. They cut the Building Schools for the Future Programme with which this authority has achieved so much over recent years and they’ve cut the Educational Maintenance Allowance which gave many of my sixth form friends a chance they would not otherwise have had to go to college – a precious, priceless opportunity which has now been snatched away from their younger brothers and sisters.....(read rest of speech and that of the Mayor, Cllr Hussain and Cllr Christie here)

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