Brent Council accused of intimidating Brent Youth Parliament members

I recenty spoke along with Transport Minister Sadiq Khan MP,  Islington South and Finsbury MP Emily Thornberry and my fellow young Brent Council Candidates Roxanne Mashari (Welsh Harp Ward) and Nadhim Ahmed (Dollis Hill Ward) at a Young People’s reception organised by Youth Opportunities and Youth Engagement Minister Dawn Butler MP.

It was amazing to meet so many young people involved positively in our communities. A few members of the Brent Youth Parliament were among the guests which has since caused local controversy. The Liberal Democrat and Conservative controlled Brent Council has since sent the Brent Youth Parliament members an intimidating letter saying:

“You will obviously need to give careful consideration as to whether you wish to align yourself with a particular person or group and what impact this may have on others’ perception of you as a Brent Youth Parliament member.

“If you do decide to participate in local politics, you will need to give consideration as to which person or group you are willing to be connected with and, any implications of this.”

Barry Gardiner MP, who represents Brent North in Parliament raised the issue in Parliament and was advised by Sir Alan Haselhurst to take the matter to the Speaker of the House of Commons. Harrow Times have reported in the story LINK.

I think it’s an absolute disgrace that young people are being discouraged from being involved in politics by being threatened and intimidated in this manner.

Brent Labour has led the way in youth representation and in this years’ local elections will be putting forward 5 candidates in their 20s.

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Break the stereotype, fix the impression

Source: Brent BRAIN
Source: Brent BRAIN

BrentYouth Parliament (BYP) have launched a nationwide survey called ‘Break the Stereotype, Fix the Impression’. The survey will ask people of all ages and backgrounds questions on how young people are perceived and to assess whether current observations of young people are distorted and largely negative.

The survey will be circulated throughout the country as the BYP and UK Youth Parliament see the issue as a UK concern.

BYP members decided this survey was needed because they were concerned that society and the media see all young people as being badly behaved and rude, caused mainly due to the small minority who misbehave and seem more visible. The group believes that, unless these impressions are challenged, young people will inherit an attitude that could cause lasting damage for future generations.

Kishan Parshotam, a BYP member said, “Young people need to identify and understand the older generations perception of them, the results of this survey will help bridge the gap between the generations as it is a joint responsibility.”

Manveen Patwalia, Principal Youth Participation Manager for Brent Council said, “The youth are the future of this planet and we must provide them with encouragement and guidance. This survey will help bring more awareness to the issues that young people face in their growth into adulthood.”

Everyone who completes the survey will be in with a chance of winning a new Apple iPod Nano with video camera and FM radio!

Survey deadline: Sunday 15 November 2009. The results of the survey will be published on Wednesday 25 November 2009.

(Source: Brent BRAIN)