Not a lot, it seems, if the underwhelming response to Croydon’s Opportunity and Fairness Commission’s latest “youth engagement” efforts are anything to go by. Only 10 youngsters from across London’s most populous borough bothered to enter a competition which offered an iPad mini as first prize.
The Opportunity and Fairness Commission is a pet project of Labour’s council leader, Tony Newman, but it has already been blighted with delays in its launch and defections of its carefully/hand-picked “commissioners”.
Like much of the Commission’s work, the youth competition was organised out of the George Street offices of The Campaign Company, a firm founded by Blairite aide David Evans. Last month, the Fairness Commission reached out to the borough’s older residents by staging a talk by Lord Glassman, the Labour academic who coined the phrase “Blue Labour”. What do you mean, you gave that a miss?
Sad to relate, but The Campaign Company’s bright idea to encourage youngsters to get involved with the Fairness Commission – by tweeting or emailing pictures of what they reckon to be unfair about life in Croydon in 2015 – has proved to be less than a winner, too. Either that, or the majority of Croydon’s young people are entirely content with life.
Anyone who entered will have had a 1-in-10 chance of scooping the £400 top prize, and its possible that none of the entrants were left empty-handed, since there was a promise of vouchers for runners-up. It will take the Commission until September to judge the entries…
Undaunted (well – they have to justify that £200,000 budget alocated to the Commission’s work overall), the “Young Opportunity and Fairness Commission” has phase two of of what they call their “engagement plan”. Yes: they have a “plan”.
“It will focus on engaging young people with surveys and by running interactive workshops in schools and community groups.”
According to the Commission’s website, “By speaking to more young people and getting as many of them involved in possible, we’re definitely gaining more insight into the needs of young people in Croydon.”
“As many involved as possible”.
And 10 entries.
All those council staff who are taking redundancy this year due to cuts in Town Hall spending will be delighted to see that.
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