YEP Says, January 25: Now let’s use children’s views to make Leeds a better place

Youngsters who are organising the first Child Friendly Leeds Awards.

Youngsters who are organising the first Child Friendly Leeds Awards.

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Our backing for drive to make Leeds a child-friendly city.

ALL this week the YEP has been focusing on the people who really matter in our city.

If Leeds is to be a vibrant, healthy and economically successful place to live then a lot depends on giving its youngsters the environment they need to thrive.

It’s why the council launched its bid to make Leeds a child-friendly city – and why we’re supporting it.

Over the last five days we have reported on the first ever YEP-backed Child Friendly Leeds Awards which seek to recognise the extraordinary youngsters in our midst, as well as the venues and organisations that make a difference.

We’ve also thrown down the gauntlet to city businesses to provide opportunities for every child in Leeds. Over 100 have already shown their support, including Trinity Leeds owners Land Securities, British Gas and the First Direct Arena.

But perhaps the most important thing we’ve done is to launch a major new survey aimed at improving the lives of youngsters living across the city – and giving them a voice.

It has been great to feature some of those views on what the city does well for young people and where there is room for improvement.

We look forward to including many more in the weeks and months to come – and helping to ensure that their opinions are not just taken on board but trigger action that changes Leeds for the better.

Perils of pushing NHS into private hands

Many BELIEVE the Government is intent on pushing the NHS further and further into the private realm.

And the experience at one Leeds medical centre shows why that prospect offers so much cause for concern.

Health bosses are in a race against time to find someone to run the Shakespeare Medical Centre in Burmantofts after private operator Care UK Clinical Services decided not to renew its contract.

The 4,000 patients on the books have been reassured that it will stay open.

But it exposes the uncertainty that can result when services are put in private, rather than public, hands.