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By Tristan Harris Friday 07 February 2014 Updated: 07/02 15:07
A BROMSGROVE Labour councillor has criticised young people across the district, claiming they need to do more to campaign about cuts to services which affect them.
In a letter to The Standard, Coun Sean Shannon said: "I feel many of the younger generation have, perhaps unconsciously, contributed to the disgraceful treatment from councils and Government.
"Most (but not all) young people I encounter in Bromsgrove and further afield appear to have opted out of any form of participation in society or local community.
"Their lives seem to revolve around entertainment - celebrities to fashion usually via pad or phone.
"Services and support for the younger generation is being stripped away because as there will be little resistance or opposition from those affected."
He added it was not just the closure of the Foyer and other youth services, bus service cuts were proposed and housing benefit was restricted to those over 30, despite paying tax and National Insurance.
And Coun Shannon, who represents Charford on the district council, said whilst he was on holiday in Spain and Portugal he noticed how much politically aware the young people over there were.
"In areas where they hang out, arty and dramatic graffiti was almost always focused on politicians or bankers.
"Here, all we see are pathetic ‘tags’. there, passing through towns and cities, young people were always at the forefront of protests relating to the state's austerity measures, making the loudest noises, particularly outside bank HQs.
"Our country’s young people should wake up to how the system works.
"Like the lottery you have to be in to win it.
"They need to make a presence, start voting.
"It’s easy, only takes minutes."
He urged young people to do more - write or email their MPs or councillors, or even the Prime Minister.
"They need to stand up for themselves, join a political party or other organisation, speak up and influence.
"Lessons can be learnt from how older people organise themselves, form groups and join pressure groups.
"Note how pensions, tax allowances and bus passes have been protected.
"Our country's future prosperity and security lies with the next generation.
"We should invest, support and encourage them.
"Marginalising will store up long-term problems, but young people have to play their part."
To read Sean Shannon's letter in full, read this week's Bromsgrove Standard. The E.Edition can be found at www.bromsgrovestandard.co.uk/paper
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