My last article here described how the Conservative Government had made real improvements to the education system after fighting Labour scaremongering, and that this had resulted in schoolchildren in England who had been wholly educated under a Conservative Government having the best reading skills in a generation. I have, since publication, been challenged regarding my sincerity about improving the life chances of our young.
As a former research scientist, guiding undergraduates in practical physics, a Royal Naval officer, training your artificers, and an engineering instructor, teaching adults the maintenance techniques they required to keep a flight simulator ‘flying’ 20 hours a day, my life has been absorbed in education. In fact, I find it quite offensive when challenged about my commitment. Further to this, my role as a ward councillor in Hangleton and Knoll has involved supporting and promoting the Hangleton and Knoll Project’s youth work, and I am proud to have been part of the Conservative team that reversed the cuts, of almost half a million pounds, that Labour made to the youth services budget last year. Ask me what I think of ‘modern youth’, and I am always quick to stress that I believe that the next generation is well-balanced and poised to be good citizens.
As a ‘Red Tory’ I know that we need to provide more housing and the fulfilling jobs that will enable the young to prosper, but I made an approach to the Labour administration for an extra half a million pounds to be included in the local council budget to support ‘youth programmes across the city.’
So, as well as ‘saving’ the Youth Services budget last year, The Conservatives have secured increased support for young people with learning disabilities, independent visitors for children in care, emotional and mental health support for young people, neighbourhood youth work, skills and employment support for young people with SEND, the youth bus, support for unaccompanied asylum seekers and substance misuse work. Now try and tell me that my commitment to the wellbeing of our young is not genuine.
Cllr Tony Janio: Leader of the Conservative Group on Brighton & Hove City Council