IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Wake-up call for Tories on cuts

09 August, 2019

‘A wake-up call to prime minister Boris Johnson’

• ISLINGTON Labour is determined to make the borough the best possible place to grow up. Keeping all of our young people safe sits at the heart of that ambition.

Despite ongoing Conservative government cuts to Islington Council, we have protected budgets for universal youth services and, earlier this year, committed an extra £500,000 in targeted support for young people at risk of being drawn into crime.

The investment in our multi-agency Integrated Gangs Team, delivered in partnership with police, health and voluntary sector partners, has seen a record number of young people engaging with our youth services.

This approach has helped deliver a reduction in serious youth violence in the last year, across Islington, but we know there is much more to do as ongoing government cuts make it even harder to protect young people.

Last week the home affairs select committee published a damning report on the Tory government’s complete failure to act on serious youth violence.

The report found that the government’s Serious Violence Strategy is not worth the paper it was written on and lacks real leadership, clear targets or vision.

While failing to act on the current epidemic of serious youth violence, the government continues to cut public services to breaking point.

In Islington the Tory government has cut 70 per cent of the council’s core government funding, while 300 police officers have been cut from our streets since 2010.

The same report echoes what Islington Council has been saying for some time; to tackle serious youth crime, we need a fully funded multi-agency youth service, focused on early intervention and prevention.

Councils like Islington play a crucial role in both working with the police to tackle crime, and spotting the warning signs that we know often lead to children and young people being exploited by criminal activity or being drawn into crime.

However, our efforts to deliver the preventative work that we know is needed to keep our young people safe, is being undermined by ongoing Tory cuts to funding that councils and other partners receive to tackle serious youth crime.

This report must act as a wake-up call to prime minister Boris Johnson. It is time for his government to take urgent action, stop failing our young people and give our public services the funding needed to tackle this crisis.

CLLR KAYA COMER-SCHWARTZ
Executive Member for Children,
Young People & Families

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