At July’s full council meeting, Oldham Youth Council presented a motion calling for more support for youth services and greater opportunities for young people in the borough, following concerns about a perceived rise in violent crime, and particular fear of the dangers for young people from knives.
Sean Fielding, Oldham Council Leader, said: “Oldham’s young people are our greatest asset and they deserve investment to help them achieve their potential.
“Over several years in Oldham, and across the country, there have been cuts to youth services. Like other local authorities, we’ve had to make difficult decisions because of unprecedented financial pressures over the past ten years. But as a council, and as a community, we have to step up. We must make our young people feel included and feel valued.
“This investment is about increasing resources in the areas where our young people need support the most. We’re taking a new, targeted approach to how we provide youth services.
“The resources build a diverse offer reflecting our diverse communities, and with the voices of young people at the heart. We believe this is the best way to reduce violence and grow confidence and aspirations.
Cllr Fielding added: “Thousands of young people have spoken, and we must listen and act upon their wishes where we can. We cannot thank Oldham Youth Council enough for their fantastic work as an extremely important voice for our young people.
“For the future of our borough, the views and ideas of our young people must be heard and acted upon. Earlier this summer, our care leavers demanded free prescriptions, explaining passionately the difference it would make to their lives. We were pleased to be able to make that happen, and I’m delighted to be able to respond positively to our young people again here.
“We’re committed to working in constant partnership with our young people to identify areas for improvement across the whole of the borough and ensure services are co-designed and co-developed to ensure we meet their needs and obtain the best possible value from the resources we have available.”