Sunday, 7 August 2011

Government must take some blame for Tottenham - Jenny Jones

Brent youth at the February Town Hall protest
Green Mayoral candidate and member of the Metropolitan Police Authority, Jenny Jones, has reacted to last night's riots in Tottenham by calling for swift action to restore vital youth services and a review of communications failures between the police and the community.

Jenny Jones said:

"We urgently need to examine all the factors that led to last night's events in Tottenham, a community suffering from one of the highest deprivation levels in the country [1], and take appropriate action to prevent repercussions.

"We need a full investigation into the shooting of local man Mark Duggan which seems to have been the trigger for last night's riots, and an urgent review of stop and search and what communications failures there were between the police and Tottenham's community. Violence and looting, and smashing up your own streets is not the answer. It's bad for the old, the poor, and those who run the small businesses people rely on.

"The Government must take some of blame for what went wrong last night. Cuts to local services, especially youth services [2], played a role in fomenting tensions in the area. With one of the highest unemployment rates in London, Tottenham urgently needs help. Emergency funds to stop youth centre closures and a review of policing must now be a priority."

In Brent the Council proposed cuts to youth provision, particularly in the Wembley area, but were forced to back down when youth mobilised first at the Wembley Area Consultative Forum and then in even greater numbers at Brent Town Hall at a meeting with Ann John, leader of the council and her deputy.

At the time Brent Green Party said:
Brent Green Party have always pressed for enhanced youth provision as a vital community resource and strongly back the participation of youth in the democratic process through school councils, youth councils and youth parliaments.  We welcome the mobilisation of Wembley youth over this issue and support their campaign. Their speeches last night at the Town Hall meeting were clear, confident and convincing and challenged many of the current stereotypes of young people.
Full account of the meeting at the Town Hall HERE

[1] Residents in Haringey claiming Job Seekers Allowance rose for the fourth consecutive month in February to 10,159, according to the Office for National Statistics. The figures show eight per cent of the adult population of Tottenham are on the dole, a fifth of which is under-24-year-olds.

[2] The local youth services budget was reduced by 75% after the Government's cut of £41m to Haringey council's overall budget.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So, it's the government's fault. Riiiiight.

I grew up in an (ex-)mining area with no jobs and had three years on the dole along with many mates. We educated ourselves in our spare time and played a lot of football. We got nothing in the way of 'youth services'

These idiot thug wannabees who resent education seem hell bent on aping American gangsta culture and ruining their own community.

And it's the government's fault you say? Mmmmm