Young Londoners can badger Ken at the launch of the Young Londoners Network at City Hall later today:
London is home to 1.61 million children under the age of 18 – more than one-fifth of the total population of the city. Research from the Greater London Authority has demonstrated that London’s under-18s take a real interest in the way their city is run, and have lots of intelligent ideas about how to improve it. But 61 percent of young Londoners feel they have no influence over decisions that are made in their area and most were unaware of how to make their voices heard. The Young Londoners Network (YLN) aims to change this. We want to get young Londoners involved as listening to their views will result in better decisions on issues that affect them.”
By the time you're reading this there should be more info up at www. London.gov.uk/young-london.
In the meantime the lowdown on the YLN comes after the jump.
1. The Young Londoners Network (YLN) will be launched at an interactive event for young people at City Hall on 26 Saturday November 2005, from 10.30am to 5pm.
2. Any young person aged between 7 and 18 can join the network, as an individual or as part of a group. Those interested should, with permission from a parent or carer, complete an application form, which can be downloaded from www. London.gov.uk/young-london after the launch.
3. Children will have the opportunity to question the Mayor on the day between 11.30am – 12.30pm. The session will be hosted by two young people and there will be four main broad topics - media representations of children and young people, safety and bullying, having a say in school and diversity and racism. The topics will be introduced by children and young people from the Genesis Housing Trust, Young Life – Greenwich Children’s Fund, Preston Manor School and Slambassadors. On the panel will be:
. Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London
· Jennifer Izekor, Director of Children and Learners, Government Office for London
· Katerina Getsevich - Millennium Volunteer Ambassador and Hammersmith and Fulham Youth Forum
4. Recommendations for a Young Londoners Network (YLN) came out of consultation that highlighted that most children and young people were still unaware of how to get involved and have their say. Consultation also indicated that London governance was very complicated and greater co-ordination of consultation and engagement activities for Young Londoners was needed. The Young Londoner's Network (YLN) aims to bring together and raise the profile of existing opportunities rather than create a new structure for participation. This was recommended by many children and youth workers who took part in the consultation.
5. A ‘Being safe’ discussion board was also launched on Saturday 26 November at City Hall. This online debate is an opportunity for young people to speak their minds on crime and safety in London and will run for three weeks until Friday 16 December. Twice a week a member from the Met Police will be online to answer questions and respond to issues raised. The Young Londoners Network (YLN) plans to build on initiatives like this.