Kilburn’s Labour Councillors and Ken meet local youth groups

Local Kilburn Labour councillors Marayam Eslamdoust, Thomas Gardiner and Mike Katz visited Abbey Community Centre on Monday with Labour Mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone and Deputy Mayor candidate Val Shawcross AM to discuss the gangs, youth unemployment and the impact of the Government’s cuts with young people.

(L to r): Khalid Khalid (17), Abdul Kadr (18), Ken Livingstone, Suleman Ahmed (17), Val Shawcross, Abdi Wahab (17) . Photo (C) Kilburn Times

Local councillor Mike Katz said, “it was great to speak to young people from Camden about what their experiences are of growing up in London. They are all worried about spiralling youth unemployment and the cuts from the Tory Government which are hitting the youth services which they really value and rely upon.

“One of the great ideas which came forward was for a youth forum and even a Youth Mayor.  Ken certainly took on board these suggestions; I hope they make it into his next manifesto.”

Groups of young people and youth workers from a number of projects in Camden attended the meeting with Ken and shared their concerns with Labour’s Mayoral candidate. Ken promised if elected to stand up for London’s young people and ensure that the city is a safe, more affordable city to grow up in.

UPDATE: more on the visit is available in this Kilburn Times report published today (see below).  Photo and report reproduced with thanks to the Times.

Youths in Kilburn were given the chance to quiz London Mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone during a special round table meeting at a youth centre on Monday.

Mr Livingstone, who is standing for Mayor again after holding the position between 2000 and 2008, took questions from youths at the Abbey Community Centre in Belsize Road.

Among those to put their questions to him were the Somali Youth Development group from Camden and members of the youth group Music and Change.

During the meeting young people aired their views and concerns on issues including “unfair” spot checks by police and the retraction of the Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA).

They also put forward ideas for a youth forum to be implemented with an elected youth mayor to deal with young people’s concerns.

Christian Assombalonga, 21 from Rowley Way, Kilburn, who is on the board of trustees at Music and Change said he found the day a success.

He said: “It was really important to be able to talk about some of the issues in my community.

“The youths in this country need to be given a voice otherwise they are going to get left aside.”

The politician has previously visited 26 other London borough’s as part of the London wide crusade entitled Tell Ken ahead of next years election on May 3.

Speaking to the Brent and Kilburn Times after the event, Mr Livingstone, who lives in Cricklewood, said that meetings with young people should take place more often.

He also liked and supported the idea of a youth forum.

Mr Livingstone said: “A youth forum is an amazing idea. It’s so important to get the views of young people and to show them that you are engaging with them and actually interested in what they have to say.”


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