Articles tagged with: Braunstone

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[21/02/2010 | No comment]

The big news from our campaign this week is that Harriet Harman, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, came to visit us in Leicester West. Harriet met and talked to local residents about the issues that matter to them, and what more people think needs to change in this area.

First up was the beautiful Brite Centre in Braunstone. We caught the end of a half-term childcare session (lots of glitter everywhere) and popped-in to talk to a group of men who’ve been getting new skills and were about to take an exam – they seemed very happy to see us but I hope we didn’t put them off! We also talked to the librarians about all the activities that go on during the week and their plans for the future, and chatted to people in the café. Lots of local party members also came to meet Harriet at the Brite Centre, which was great.

Our next stop was the New Parks Children’s Centre on Pindar Road. The Centre provides fantastic help and support to local parents. On the day we were there (Wednesday) there was a midwives health clinic, a ‘Mums to Tums’ group for expectant mums and new dads, a ‘Parents as Partners in Early Learning’ play session, and a new group for teenage parents. On top of all this, a ‘Multi Access Centre’ was giving help and advice to parents about training and employment.

I was really proud to show Harriet how Labour’s investment is making a difference here. It makes me angry when the Tories say they would immediately cut public spending, because it would put services like these at risk. And their proposal to make Children’s Centres available only to the very poorest families would be a real blow to hundreds of ordinary families here. That’s why I’m campaigning to make sure we continue to invest in supporting local parents and families in Leicester West, and that services like those at the Brite Centre and New Parks Children’s Centre are available in every community that needs them.

[05/02/2010 | No comment]

I think one of Labour’s proudest achievements is our investment in children’s early years. When I was Director of the Maternity Alliance, I saw the difference good quality help and support can make to parents and young children, particularly if it starts very early on in life.

We’ve now got Sure Start Children’s Centres in Beaumont Leys and Stocking Farm, Braunstone, Braunstone Frith, New Parks, Rowley Fields and the West End. These are brilliant services that help improve children’s life chances and which local parents really value.

Labour has also put much needed investment into our local schools. Leicester was one of the first places to get money from the Government’s Building Schools for the Future (BSF) fund. £235m is being spent on rebuilding and transforming every secondary school in the city. The first two schools to benefit from BSF in Leicester West are Fullhurst College and the award winning school at Beaumont Leys. We’re starting to see a real difference in school results too: last year Leicester’s GCSE results improved faster than the national average.

But there’s still a long way to go. Leicester is 129th out of 151 local authorities in terms of GCSE results, and this isn’t good enough. That’s why I’m pressing for faster improvements in our schools. I’ll work with parents, teachers, councillors and the Government to make sure all parents in Leicester West have the choice to send their children to a good, local school.

[03/02/2010 | No comment]

You might not believe it when you read the newspapers! But good progress is being made in Leicester West: there are more police, including a neighbourhood police team in every area, crime is being reduced and our Labour council and Labour government have helped fund new play areas like the ones in Westcotes Park and Braunstone Park.

But I know there are still very real issues that need to be tackled to make all our communities decent, safe places to live in.

One of the biggest problems local residents raise with me is that there’s still too much anti social behaviour. I’ll support tough action on the minority of people who create anti social behaviour in our communities. I’m also backing Labour’s new proposals to crack down on shops that sell alcohol to underage children, and pubs that encourage binge drinking.

Alongside these measures, we’ve got to give our young people more things to do, especially in the evenings and weekends. I know that local voluntary groups are already working hard to get young people involved in sport, dance and music. I’ll support this work, and work to get the investment we need to provide better facilities for young people in every community.

[05/01/2010 | No comment]

One of the things I love about being a Prosepective Parliamentary Candidate (basically an aspiring MP) is that I get to meet all sorts of people and organisations doing fantastic things in Leicester West.

I recently visited two inspirational projects that are helping to give young people in this constituency the skills they need to get a job and get on in life.

First up was Leicester Stride: a social enterprise that trains young people, including through Labour’s Future Jobs Fund. This Fund is helping 1000 18 – 24 year olds in Leicester who’ve been unemployed for more than 6 months to get a job or training place.

Stride offers young people new skills in areas like construction, painting and decorating and motor mechanics. Its also got a brilliant community cafe and hair salon – both of which give a great deal to their customers, as well as catering and hairdressing skills for the young people who work there.

The next day, I went to the official opening of the Braunstone Skills Centre. Up to 200 children a week, from 12 schools, are now getting training in this wonderful new building. The Centre was backed by Government investment (£1.25m from the New Deal for Communities) but initiated and developed by the community itself. The Centre has been made possible by the hard work and sheer determination of the Braunstone Community Association – now called ‘B-inspired‘ –  working alongside a range of local partners.

Making sure every young person in Leicester West has the opportunity, skills and confidence they need to get a job is absolutely vital to improving life chances in this constituency. Labour’s guarantee to young people who’ve been unemployed for more than 6 months of an education or training place for those aged up to 18 years, and a job or training place for 18 – 24 year olds, will make a big difference.

The challenge is going to be finding and engaging with the young people who really need this help. Too many still feel there simply aren’t any opportunities out there for them – so why bother trying to get qualifications and skills or find work? The Government, local Council and other official bodies need to work closely with local voluntary and community groups to reach out to individual young people to show them they can get training and jobs doing things they’re interested in and good at. That would be a guarantee worth having.

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