Monday, September 24, 2007

Snap Election or not? Everyone is at Bournemouth, Youth Offer, Hibs beat Celtic and Scotland reserves hammered by all Blacks!!

As the Labour Party, both national and local, descends on Bournemouth speculation is at fever pitch over a snap election in October. Opinion Poll leads of 8% just add to the speculation but I think that Gordon Brown will just get on with the job and set his agenda in time for an Election next May!
Seemingly most of the Southwark Labour Group are down there so I really feel that I am holding the fort ! The Conference season always clashes with the start of the University Academic Year and it is never a good time for me to disappear for a week !
I have a few Arbitration cases this week and am attending a Session on the future of the Arbitration Service. I am still worried that the Lib Dem/Tory Coalition want to limit it or even clos it down so i am keen to have my say!!
I know of concerns at the European Treaty debate in the autumn all the way through to next Spring but am sure that the next election will be one of public confidence and with a choice of Brown, Cameron or Campbell I am confident that there is only one choice that makes any real sense!!!
Of course events can get in the way but that could easily happen in the course of a 4 week snap election so I favour a steady approach to a May poll which I am sure will help us in the european and London Mayoral and GLA Elections.
My thoughts are with my colleague and friend Danny McCarthy who is currently very ill in hospital and i wish him a speedy recovery as I really miss his wit and his great experience and of course his freindship! Get well soon Danny!!
Great news from the Government on the Youth Offer Initiative:£60 million boost for young Londoners
Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, and Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, Ed Balls, today outlined a £60 million ‘London Youth Offer’, which will fund services for young people in the capital. Ken Livingstone and Ed Balls met young Londoners during a visit to Salmon Youth Centre, Southwark today.
The £60 million funding programme from the Mayor and Government will increase the range of services for teenagers, provide more support for parents and give young people new opportunities to gain new skills and raise their aspirations.
A key element of the funding will encourage young Londoners to get involved in decisions about the provision of youth facilities across London.
The £60 million ‘London Youth Offer’ is part of a package of measures from the Mayor of London and Government to address concerns over the high levels of child poverty in the capital, increase funding for youth services and target the most deprived and hard to reach young Londoners who are most likely to be victims of crime and at risk of involvement in anti-social behaviour or street gangs.
The ‘London Youth Offer’ is also designed to provide additional resources for community initiatives, which are proven to work effectively and help turn young people’s lives around.
The £60 million funding package will run over two years, £20 million will come from the Mayor’s London Development Agency and £40 million from the Department for Children, Schools and Families. The Government’s contribution is part of the substantial investment in places to go and things to do for teenagers announced in the 10 Year Youth strategy, ‘Aiming high for young people’ in July. This money will be made up of cash to fund positive activities for young people and money for the Youth Opportunity and Youth Capital Funds. Funding for other local areas will be announced in due course.
Ken Livingstone said, "The most common complaint that Londoners raise with me, in relation to the quality of life of their children, is that there are just not enough youth facilities any more. This £60 million funding will provide more places to go and things to do for young Londoners right across the capital.‘Just as we have invested in public transport and put police back on the streets, we are now aiming to reverse the decline of facilities for young people. Investment and planning for the future of our city has to include our young people.
‘This funding is not a substitute for the resources already being made available for the delivery of youth work by Government, but should be used to provide additional support and make a real difference to the lives of young people in the capital.
‘With the highest levels of child poverty in Britain, it is vital that every young Londoner is given the chance to fulfill their potential. The funding will give children and teenagers from London’s poorest estates, and communities right across the capital, opportunities to learn new skills through training, sports and cultural activities."
Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, Ed Balls said:
"This money will give young Londoners places to go and things to do - but it is about far more than getting them off the streets. Teenagers need to take part in out of school activities to help them develop the life skills they need to get a job and get on – and this is especially important for the young people who might not otherwise get these opportunities.
"I are delighted to be working with Ken Livingstone to deliver real improvements in the opportunities available for young people after school and at weekends across the capital.
"Earlier this year we launched a Ten Year Youth strategy for young people and part of that was about giving young people a direct say in how the money is spent in their local areas.
"That’s why we will be working closely with the Mayor of London, the boroughs and crucially young people in their communities to make a difference and support for the positive work that is already going on in many parts of the capital. I hope this will provide a boost to all of London’s children and young people."
I watched Hibs get a stunning 3-2 win over Celtic at Easter Road to remain the only unbeaten team in the SPL and third in the League!
Dad was at the game and full of praise for the Hibs performance! The whole team played well but Brain Kerr was excellent and recieved the Man of the Match award but Antoine-Curier looked very good and strong up front and Fletcher again was excellent. Then ews is that his injury is not as bad as first thought so he may not been out for too long!!
In the Rugby World Cup Scotland made 13 changes for the Test against New Zealand and not surprisingly lost 40-0, that's what happens when you play a reserve team against the best team in the world!!!

It really is all about Italy on Saturday at St Etienne! If we win all will be forgiven as getting through to the last 8 is all important but if we dont...........!!!!