fbpx Our policy update for July 2019 - London Youth

05 August 2019

Welcome to this month’s update on the policy context for London Youth members. You can find previous policy updates here.

Politics & policy

The last month has seen Westminster once again completely upended, with Boris Johnson taking over as Prime Minister.

We have laid out the five things that we think Boris Johnson should know to make a difference for the lives of young Londoners. As the first Mayor of London to become Prime Minister, he is in a position to stand up for London issues. We hope that he will recognise the real consequence of cuts to youth services, the need for a plan for the sector, the need for long-term thinking, the particular problems that face London, and how we all benefit from youth work. Read the blog here or watch the video above.

The new Prime Minister has also shaken up Cabinet; you can find a full list of all the new ministers here. We are looking forward to working with Baroness Diana Barran MBE, who has replaced Mims Davies MP as Youth Minister. Baroness Barran formerly worked as an investment banker and at New Philanthropy Capital, was the founder and chief executive of domestic abuse charity SafeLives, and is a trustee of Comic Relief. You can read our statement here.

In her last week, Mims Davies spoke for the Government in a debate in Parliament on the role and sufficiency of youth services around the country. While it was overshadowed by other political developments, it is a step forward for the structural problems facing youth work around the country to be debated in Parliament. You can read our summary here.

The Commons Home Affairs Committee published its final report into its Serious Youth Violence Inquiry, which London Youth submitted to. The report highlighted the role of youth services in preventing violence and calls for a ‘youth service obligation’ that should be a “fully-funded, statutory minimum of provision for youth outreach workers and community youth projects in all areas, co-designed with local young people”. You can read our statement here.

Our policy & media work

Ciaran and Jo-Ash from Dare London, our youth advisory board, were invited along to a special APPG on Youth Affairs meeting to discuss how violence affects young people. You can read in their own words what they thought about the issue and the experience of speaking in Parliament. Ciaran said:

Coming to Parliament is great. It’s one of the few times that you come and speak to people who actually have power over the laws that you live under. Therefore, for any young person who wants to come along to parliament, the answer is go and do it. It’s the opportunity you’ve got to find the people who have power and tell them what you think.


Rosemary Watt-Wyness, our Chief Executive, was on Victoria Derbyshire talking about the intersection between violence and youth services. You can see the whole interview here. Rosemary said:

We have 500 youth organisations in our network and what we hear again and again is that the cuts to youth services have had tragic consequences. What they have said to us is that what the Government has set out with the public health approach is the right approach, but it’s not going to make a difference unless it’s got proper and sustained funding behind it and we’re not seeing that at the moment.

The point we think is crucial is about investing in local, community youth services. It’s the places outside of school that feel safe to young people, where they choose to go, where they can interact and build relationships with trusted adults. Like we see in George’s gym, Carney’s Community. It’s those places we need to invest in.

Rosemary was also quoted in Children & Young People Now on the outgoing Youth Minister’s announcement of a £500,000 investment in national bursaries for 400 youth work positions.

London Youth was quoted in the Mayor’s release of data showing the strong relationship between young people living in poverty and in areas of high deprivation and the higher likelihood of being involved in serious youth violence.


Arts Council England are consulting on their draft 10-year strategy, Shaping the Next Ten Years: Draft Strategy 2020-2030, which closes on Monday 23rd September 2019. To find out more or to get it involved, follow the link below. We encourage members to have your views or evidence included in our response by getting in touch before Monday 2nd September.


  • The Commons Justice Committee are inviting submissions on their Children and Young People in Custody Inquiry, which is open until 1st October.
  • The Home Office have announced a new public health duty to tackle serious violence. London Councils have responded, saying reducing violence can’t be “done on the cheap.”
  • The Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS) have officially launched their review of the statutory guidance on local authorities providing youth services.
  • Anna Smee, currently CEO of UK Youth, has been appointed as CEO of the Youth Futures Foundation.
  • The NCS Trust has said it will not renew contracts with The Challenge beyond 2019 due to a dispute over IT systems.
  • Labour have announced their candidates for the 2020 London elections.
  • The Common Home Affairs Committee has questioned ministers on progress implicating the Macpherson Report’s recommendations.
  • The House of Lords debated impact of and response to funding public services that interact with young adults.
  • The Government has launched a new body, the Office for Tackling Injustices.
  • Institute for Government have highlighted the issues for the new Government with the upcoming Spending Review.

Reports & resources

You can keep up-to-date with our latest news and updates by signing up to our newsletter, or you can get more involved with our policy and media work by joining our Policy Advisory Group.

Samuel Howell, Policy Officer

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