Friday, January 18, 2008

Have Your Say

This was the invitation to representatives of the secondary schools of the Western, Eastern and Central Areas of the borough today. I went along to the event, organised on behalf of the Children's Trust Board, to listen to what the young people from the Western Area had to say. It was well worth spending the time. The young people had a lot of sensible suggestions about things which could be done to improve life for them and other young people in the borough - some of them long term and some fairly short term. I took the opportunity at the break to ask them specifically about the play areas and play facilities in Eaglescliffe. They suggested some football goal posts on St Margarets play area.
It was interesting that one of them said he plays football with his friends on what he called the field at Hindhead! He said that people get upset when their ball goes in the garden, but pointed out that the grass is a bit small for a decent game. He also complained that some adults pop the football instead of giving it back. It was very interesting to hear the other side of the problem. He was quite resigned to the idea of having some trees planted there because he acknowledged that it wasn't really a good place to play.
I was very encouraged by the positive response to a suggestion of having a Western Area Youth Forum so I went straight back to municipal buildings and e-mailed the person who's going to be in charge of the Integrated Service Area covering Eaglescliffe to ask for his help in setting it up. His answer was that he's just getting to grips with the new job ready for the Integrated Service Areas being fully operational in April. He's going to come to the Partnership board in march to give us an update on progress so I'll be asking about it again there if nothing's happened in the meantime.
It was also good to see them enjoying the last workshop of the day which was on street dancing. Some of them went off clutching information to get in touch and do more. Great fun, but far to energetic for my joints at the moment.
Later there was a briefing for Group leaders on the recommendations that have come out of the initial consultation on Building Schools for the Future, but it's confidential for now so more of that later.

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