Friday, April 24, 2015

Shout Out for Youth -
First Youth Leader Debate on All4

Frustrated by the lack of young voices in British politics and a concern for voter disengagement, Shout Out UK, a youth news network, has teamed up with Channel 4 to launch a debate with young people at its heart. The Youth Leaders’ Debate will, for the first time ever, gather all the youth wings’ leaders of the seven major British parties’ in one place to debate politics and youth issues.

In an online exclusive, on seven youth party leaders will go up against each other as they tackle the key issues for young voters. Channel 4 News reporter Fatima Manji will chair the debate with representatives from the Conservatives, Greens, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru, SNP and UKIP.

for bios click here and scroll
The leaders will field questions on issues that matter to young people from a studio audience, made up entirely from voters aged 18-25, some of whom will be visiting the ballot box for the first time.

The Youth Leader Debate will stream on the new digital service All 4 on Monday 28 April at 8pm.

Matteo Bergamini, Founder of Shout Out UK, said “I am 22 and for my generation this is an important event, for the first time in Britain, we are actively able to hear the political debate from a young person’s perspective. We have the power to speak our mind. It is our right, as well as our duty to demand a better future.”

Tom Porter, Channel 4’s News & Current Affairs Commissioning Editor said: “We are very excited to be hosting this ground-breaking debate on All 4. Young people often feel that their interests are ignored by political parties. We hope that by bringing the youth leaders together we can engage as many young people as possible on the issues that matter to them in this election and encourage them to vote.”

Currently Shout Out UK is recruiting an audience for the debate via this link.


There are 35 constituencies in England and Wales where at least 20 per cent of the voting population are between 18 and 24 years old; 17 of these were marginal seats in the 2010 election. Young people could have a dramatic impact on the upcoming general election, yet in 2010 only 44 per cent of this age group voted. There is also reason for optimism however, as youth participation in politics is on the rise, with many young people fighting the stereotype of political apathy.

With the two-party system being challenged by emerging political parties across the political spectrum, from the Green Party to UKIP, the possibility of real change is bringing young people back into politics. Young Greens’ membership doubled in size in 2014 alone. Even UKIP, who have tended to attract older voters, now have a youth wing which has grown 70 per cent in under a year.

For too long the disillusionment and lack of interest of many young people in politics has led to their interests being ignored by politicians. Looking at the voting figures it is easy to see why issues affecting young people, such as youth unemployment and housing are neglected by politicians and the group repeatedly let down over promises on university tuition fees. Older generations are simply far more likely to vote. This vicious circle has fostered increasing disillusion with the political process. To break this cycle and ensure the interests of young people are addressed by politicians we must re-engage this age group in the political system. The Institute for Public Policy Research recently recommended that young people should be forced to vote, yet this fails to tackle the root cause of the problem.

Young people could be key in swinging the vote in the May General Election. Through education and events such as Shout Out UK’s Youth Leaders' Debate we can engage this age group in politics and ensure the powerful voice of today’s youth is heard.

For more info contact:
Matteo Bergamini
+44 (0) 20 3239 9226

Shout Out UK is a non partisan independent youth news network that aims to show young people that politics has a direct impact on their lives. It has over 400 contributors and receives over 50,000 visits a month.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Traffic & Parking Update

From our March 2015 hard copy Newsletter. Meant to post this up on the blog at the time but forgot – apologies.

Traffic issues in the West

Transport for London has refused to consider a new roundabout at the junction of Woodford Avenue and Clayhall Avenue, and Redbridge Council has decided not to enforce a U-Turn ban prior to the width restriction in Clayhall Avenue. So we have asked Highways to look into whether there is any evidence that the signalisation of Gants Hill roundabout (the funding for which was taken from Charlie Brown’s roundabout) has improved traffic flow there and if so to use this as leverage to press for the signalisation of Charlie Brown’s roundabout.

Irrespective of the U-Turn issue in Clayhall Avenue the daily rush hour tail-back would still be there and perhaps relieving congestion further on would also benefit this location. We have established that the proposal for a new cross roads traffic light system on Southend Road at the Roding Lane North and South junction would simply transfer the queue from Clayhall Avenue to Roding Lane North, a much narrower road that would not be able to cope.

We have been advised that responsibility for enforcement of the still illegal U-Turns in Clayhall Avenue (at the junction with Claybury Broadway) is to be transferred to Transport for London.

Bus Route & Parking on Forest Road

As forecast in our previous issue Transport for London are now consulting on their proposals to re-route the 462 bus from its current route along Fencepiece Road to Limes Farm and then on to The Lowe. The proposed route will run along Forest Road, turn into Elmbridge Road to The Lowe and then on to terminate at Limes Farm. If you have not had a hard copy through your letterbox you can make your views known directly via:

Much of the feedback we have received suggests that while this proposal is very welcome (it is somewhat overdue) it does not go far enough and that the new route should also serve Forest Cemetery, the Redbridge Cycling Centre and the Industrial Estate.

We are advised that irrespective of the above the parking on both sides of Forest Road between Fullwell Cross roundabout and the tube station has now become a safety issue and that measures designed to address the problem are being considered.

A verbal update from the Chief Highways officer at a Local Forum "market place" on 25th March is that double yellow lines will be provided on one side of Forest Road or the other.

You can sign up to receive our newsletters (3 per year) via email at this link or the more frequent (approx. fortnightly) blog notification updates.

And work on the new entrance to the Craven Gardens Car Park should be finished by the end of the week, says the man from Kensons …

The Cross of St George

As is customary on this blog the flag is out today
- as it is Saint George’s Day.

According to wikipedia:

St George was a Roman soldier from Syria Palaestina, so definitely not English.

And he is not only the patron saint of England. He is also the patron saint of Aragon, Catalonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Greece, Lithuania, Palestine, Portugal, and Russia, as well as the cities of Amersfoort, Beirut, Bteghrine, Cáceres, Ferrara, Freiburg, Genoa, Ljubljana, Gozo, Pomorie, Qormi, Lod and Moscow, Scouting, as well as a wide range of professions, organizations and disease sufferers.

Here's some history of English patron saints before St George

And there will be Dragons in Redbridge ... see here for details.

And there will be lots of crosses to count in two weeks time. Make sure yours is one of them.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Ilford North Hustings for #GE2015 - write up

The hustings took place this afternoon with six candidates in a packed out room in Fullwell Cross Library.

As far as I can tell there were three of us tweeting (let me know in the comments if I've missed somebody). Here are the tweets in order and a pretty good level of detail. And in case you can't see the embed below, here's a direct link.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

WWI Hainault Pilots Remembered

An event to commemorate Fairlop at War was held on Saturday last (11th April) at Fairlop Waters Country Park, the site of airfields during both the 1914-18 and the 1939-45 World Wars.

2015 is the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Dresden, Germany, and there is a Fairlop connection. In WW1 Major Arthur Harris was Station Commander at the airfield at Hainault Farm. In WW2 he was known as Bomber Harris and was Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief RAF Bomber Command at the time of the bombing of Dresden.

To mark the occasion as a symbol of reconciliation Redbridge resident former Flight Sergeant Max Bean of 115 Squadron Bomber Command met with Hans Haenlein of Dresden in the presence of the Deputy Mayor of Redbridge, Councillor Linda Huggett, and members of the Fairlop Heritage Group. Hans was presented with a Coventry Cross of Nails.

Coventry Cross of Nails on the Fairlop Memorial (Photo Credit David Martin)

Flying for the first time at Fairlop on Saturday was the flag of the Royal Flying Corps, who had their first encounter with Zeppelins in October 1915. The flag was hand-made by Barbara Martin for the occasion.

The flag on the right is that of the Royal Flying Corps
which was flown for the first time at the Fairlop at War event.
(Photo credit Ron Jeffries)

Said David Martin, Chairman, Fairlop Heritage Group: “Saturday was a peaceful way to celebrate reconciliation as the end of conflict. We are grateful to the staff of Fairlop Waters and to Lakeview Marquee and to Redbridge Museum for the loan of displays of Redbridge in WW1 and to Hans, Max and the Deputy Mayor for joining us.”

(From left to right) Hans Haenlein, Flight Sergeant Max Bean, David Martin, Linda Huggett, 
Deputy Mayor, and Mr Huggett, Deputy Mayor’s Consort. (Photo Credit Ron Jeffries)