Green councillors pledge to “lead the charge” for young people in Glasgow
THE COUNCIL ELECTIONS in Glasgow saw the biggest change in the city’s local politics for generations – with Labour losing its majority for the first time in 40 years. Yet there was another change equally important to the transition of a governing majority.
A new generation of councillors were also elected – promising to reconnect and empower the voices of the city’s young people in how decisions are made. Scottish Greens, who have three of its seven councillors in their 20s or early 30s, have outlined to CommonSpace what difference they aim to make in their elected positions.
Hello, we are your new Green team for Glasgow! Dead excited about working with this lot for the next 5 years for a fairer, greener city! pic.twitter.com/16Hy7mTtdN
— Cllr Kim Long (@CaptainKim) May 8, 2017
Glasgow faces substantial challenges of confronting high levels of inequality in the city, such as the housing issues in areas like Govanhill, and making sure that areas of ongoing redevelopment benefit its citizens.
Kim Long, Dennison
Photo: Katie Noble Photography
“Young people are being systematically targeted for political cuts because without adequate political representation, they’re an easier target. The Tories have cut housing benefit to 18-21 year olds and given everyone a minimum wage hike except under 25s. Meanwhile, previous council policy under Glasgow Labour has been to demonise young people as antisocial for having nowhere to go after youth services have been cut.
“As a young Green voice in the city chambers, I’ll be working to counter this false narrative, and to empower young people in Glasgow to get involved in shaping this city that belongs to all of us.”
Allan Young, Govan
“I think it is vital to have a new generation of councillors take office, bringing fresh ideas and new ways of working. Too many important decisions have been taken recently where young people have felt powerless. Glasgow needs a more modern, open and democratic council which better reflects the population of our city as a whole. Hopefully, our generation can lead the charge and reconnect the work of the council to our everyday lives.”
Christy Mearns, Anderston/City/Yorkhill
“I think it’s so important that the voice of the younger generation is represented in Glasgow City Council. For too long, young people have been locked out of the decision-making process despite having the most to lose from it.
“The priorities of many young people, such as on housing and rent controls; funding for vital public services; and investment in education, are all things which the Council has power to influence. A new generation of Councillors who understand these issues, and who will bring fresh ideas and perspectives to the table, the better for everyone.”
Picture courtesy of Michael D Beckwith
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