22 November 2019
Ahead of the General Election on the 12th of December, the Labour Party has published its manifesto. We have summarised the most relevant commitments for the youth sector below. Please note that more detail about the party’s plans for a statutory youth service was announced earlier this year.
You can find similar summaries for other political parties here.
Youth sector commitments
Levelling Up Across the Country
- We will bring about a radical decentralisation of power in Britain so that local people and communities are given far greater control over their own lives and prospects.
- Labour will ensure that councils can improve bus services by regulating and taking public ownership of bus networks, and we will give them resources and full legal powers to achieve this cost-effectively, thereby ending the race to the bottom in working conditions for bus workers. Where councils take control of their buses, Labour will introduce free bus travel for under-25s.
- A Labour government will develop a planned model of joined-up community care, enabling people to live longer lives in better health in their own homes. We will ensure the voices of local people and NHS staff are heard in future developments of the health system.
- Only one in four children and young people are able to receive help from a mental health professional. Our £845 million plan for Healthy Young Minds will more than double the annual spending on children and adolescent mental health services.
- Responsibility for delivery of education and support for young people will sit with local authorities, they will manage admissions, and have responsibility for school places, including the power to open schools.
- We will take action to end ‘off-rolling’, removing the perverse incentives for schools to let pupils fall out of the system, by making schools accountable for the outcomes of pupils who leave their rolls.
- We will properly regulate all education providers and reform alternative provision (AP) to ensure an excellent education is the right of every child, and improve the outcomes and life chances of some of the most vulnerable children in society.
- We will ‘poverty-proof’ schools, introducing free school meals for all primary school children, encouraging breakfast clubs, and tackling the cost of school uniforms.
- Labour will end the failed free-market experiment in higher education, abolish tuition fees and bring back maintenance grants.
Police and Security
- We will rebuild our youth services and guarantee young people’s access to youth workers. We will invest in a youth justice system in which schools, local authorities, health authorities and youth services work together to divert young people away from the pathways towards crime.
- Effective police work requires the police to serve their communities and work collaboratively with youth workers, mental health services, schools, drug rehabilitation programmes and other public agencies. A police force working within our communities, with the capacity to gather local intelligence, is also the frontline of our domestic security – the first eyes and ears of effective counter-terrorism.
- We will work to eliminate institutional biases against BAME communities. Proportionate stop-and-search based on intelligence is a needed tool of effective policing, but the use of expanded powers means black and Asian men are still more likely to be stopped and searched, poisoning relations between the police and the local communities they serve.
- We will tackle the disproportionate levels of BAME children in custody, review the youth custody estate, strengthen youth courts and build on the Lammy Review.
Communities and Local Government
- Young people have been let down by the Conservatives. At least 750 youth centres have closed since 2012. Too many young people now have nowhere to go, nothing to do and no one to help them with their problems. Labour will build a properly funded, professionally staffed National Youth Service, and will guarantee every young person has access to local, high-quality youth work.
- Vulnerable children have suffered most, with many left waiting until crisis point for support. Councils are having to meet the needs of more at-risk children with lower funding.
- Labour will launch a wholesale review of the care system, including kinship care, considering national standards such as a central register of foster parents and regulation of semi-supported housing, to ensure we meet the needs of every child.
- We will rebuild early intervention services and replace the Troubled Families programme with a Stronger Families programme, refocused on long-term support to reduce the risk of children going into care. We will protect and build on Staying Put for over-18s in care and the Adoption Support Fund.
- We will enforce a legal duty of care to protect our children online, impose fines on companies that fail on online abuse and empower the public with a Charter of Digital Rights.
- We will invest in the towns and communities neglected for too long, with a £1 billion Cultural Capital Fund to transform libraries, museums and galleries across the country.
- We will make the distribution of National Lottery funding more transparent to help communities get their fair share of project funding.
- In the years of austerity it was non-government organisations that often held the social fabric of our society together, protecting our communities from even greater harm and providing precisely targeted support. As we rebuild our public services, we will support and maintain the social capital values of these organisations.
- Tackle the homelessness and rough sleeping crisis in the UK, ensuring that all strategies and services are tailored to understand needs unique to LGBT+ homeless people, particularly young people who make up a disproportionate number of our currently homeless people.
- Britain is one of the most centralised countries in Europe. Labour will decentralise decision-making and strengthen local democracy. We reiterate our commitment to One Yorkshire, and will make directly elected mayors more accountable to local councillors and elected representatives.
- We will re-establish regional Government Offices to make central government more attuned to our English regions, to support our regional investments, and to enable the shift of political power away from Westminster. A Labour government will repeal the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, which has stifled democracy and propped up weak governments. We will maintain 650 constituencies and respond objectively to future, independent boundary reviews. We will oversee the largest extension of the franchise in generations, reducing the voting age to 16, giving full voting rights to all UK residents, making sure everyone who is entitled to vote can do so by introducing a system of automatic voter registration, and abandoning plans to introduce voter ID which has been shown to harm democratic rights.
Tackling Vested Interests
- We will free the voices of civil society by repealing the Lobbying Act 2014 and overhauling the rules that govern corporate lobbying. We will introduce a lobbying register covering both in-house lobbyists and think tanks and extending to contacts made with all senior government employees, not just ministers.
- We will bring greater transparency by extending Freedom of Information rules to cover private providers of public services, setting new standards of consistent disclosure practice and ending the six-month time limit in which the Information Commissioner can prosecute the deliberate destruction of public records.
Other General Election resources
As each party releases their manifesto, we will be summarising the most relevant commitments for the youth sector, which you will be able to find here.
Find out why young people having their say is so important in this excellent blog, Will we see a ‘youthquake’ at the next election?, from Harry Crumless, our Communications Officer.
You can also find some useful information on how young people can vote and have heir voices heard here.