South West London debate tackles youth issues

The subject of London’s younger individuals was one of many only a few causes the place the 4 south west London GLA candidates noticed eye-to-eye in a Riverside Radio debate, staged tonight.

Leonie Cooper (Labour, Merton and Wandsworth), Louise Calland (Conservative, Merton and Wandsworth), Hina Bokhari (Liberal Democrats, Merton) and Hannah Graham (Green Party) featured in an animated dialogue with issues together with reasonably priced housing, policing and psychological well being.

Graham was particularly vital of London’s present air air pollution disaster, claiming it may result in disastrous penalties for the subsequent era.

She stated: “Unclean air can affect kids’s cognitive growth, bronchial asthma and even demise.”

When posed a query about the way forward for psychological well being providers by a yr 12 pupil, Graham stated: “For many younger individuals, their group centre is their solely secure house. The pandemic has created damaging dwelling environments. A holistic method is necessary to us.”

Graham added: “I do know the complete affect of austerity – £25 million snatched away for our younger individuals – it’s not accessible.”

Graham recommended the Green Party as the primary to again voting for individuals aged 16 and over, a proper the Greens need to guarantee by the 2024 normal election.

In addition, she stated that Sian Berry, the Green Party mayoral candidate, intends to reinstate the Young Londoner’s fund.

Calland introduced a give attention to the Conservative social gathering’s incentive to create reasonably priced properties for younger individuals and stated that Shaun Bailey will appoint a deputy mayor to symbolize younger voices in London.

This can be a part of a Tory financial restoration plan for twenty-four,000 new jobs and 4,000 extra youth staff, with ‘youth zones in each borough’.

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Calland stated: “It’s necessary for younger individuals to have an outlet – we’re bringing in an onside youth zone – new areas the place younger individuals can discuss their psychological well being.”

Calland additionally spoke of a excessive road restoration fund for ‘sources of enter that younger individuals want’.

Labour’s Cooper stated Londoners are ‘open and inclusive’, however this ethos has been broken by cuts made to youth providers by the 2010 Conservative-Lib Dem coalition.

Cooper additionally emphasised the position of music, movie and expertise in partaking with younger individuals: “I’m not a star on Tiktok, however we must be supporting individuals as they transfer into the long run with digital platforms.”

The Labour candidate additionally supported Sadiq Khan’s plan to construct reasonably priced properties and convey non-public rents beneath management, claiming the Conservative coverage for a similar incentive to be ‘simply fantasy nonsense’.

Bokhari of the Liberal Democrats stated: “Young persons are very nervous in regards to the potential of getting a job.”

Bokhari added the Liberal Democrats are targeted on younger individuals of their method, with an emphasis on apprenticeships, better entry to prime quality psychological well being and group providers, and an elevated quantity of councillors in colleges.

Bokhari added: “We are the way in which ahead for younger individuals.”

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