In a paper published by the government, Sheffield has been praised for its efforts to condemn the August Riots, and in the political campaign work carried out by its young people.
Positive for Youth, a document published on Tuesday that sets out a new strategy to “herald an opportunity for all young people to realise their potential”, champions Sheffield as a city that achieves this.
The “Bite Back” campaign against the indiscriminate Mosquito Device began in Sheffield in August 2010, when Harry as the local Member of the UK Youth Parliament released a video on the issue to his constituents. Harry then debated live on air with a senior member of the City Council, before taking the case directly to the Council Cabinet in January 2011. In Positive for Youth (p.74), the Department for Education uses the campaign to ban the mosquito device in Sheffield as a case study of successful political action, led by young people. Harry welcomed the report’s recognition of this work, and the clear it message it sends that influential government Ministers such as Tim Loughton MP are urging young people to be involved in politics.
Sheffield’s response to keep the city peaceful during the UK Riots last summer, was also given much praise by Positive for Youth (p.64). Sheffield Futures, the coordinator of Youth Parliament activity in Sheffield, was commended for bringing together young activists to speak on behalf of the city. As well as an online strategy, using the twitter tag #steelNOTsteal, Harry also publicly applauded Sheffield’s young people for rising above the senseless violence seen elsewhere in Britain.
Following the riots Harry met with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to talk about rebuilding communities for young people everywhere. He also raised these concerns in a meeting at 10 Downing Street a few days after. Harry welcomes the praise given to Sheffield’s peaceful response in Positive for Youth, and for the praise given by Tim Loughton MP on his visit last month to Sheffield Futures. Harry commented that “Sheffield Futures is a fantastic organisation, and one which highlights the excellent work the local groups are able to do with limited resources, and the government’s support for UKYP also proves its worth as a strong, influential and democratic body for young people”