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Yell out about youth work's success

The New Labour years were hardly characterised by profligacy in spending on young people's services. It was generally only the most deprived areas that received more than 100 a head to spend on providing youth services.

A robust case for early intervention

Among the flurry of government announcements to come out in the dying days of this Parliament, last week's long-awaited early intervention paper is the most important.

The Myplace fund is a missed opportunity

Much has been made about the transformative effect the Myplace fund will have on youth facilities in England, yet little has been said about whether this is truly the best way to spend this money.

Palestine's young people can lead the way

At the end of January, the Council of Europe held a seminar with the League of Arab States on the development and implementation of youth policy in the Euro-Mediterranean region.

Universal and targeted armies wage war

I was asked the other day where I stood on striking the balance between universal and targeted provision in youth work. I smiled at the juxtaposition. Such a stark division has caused a lot of argument, heartache and grief at ideological and political levels, and in policy and practice. It allows for the drawing up of battle lines: on the one side, those advocating value for money and reaching those somehow objectively assessed as most "in need", on the other, those espousing open doors, thus enabling responsiveness to all forms of "need" as subjectively expressed.

The beautiful game has started to turn ugly

In one of the first discussions on youthful antisocial behaviour during the 1990s, I noted in a speech that most of the lads' magazines tended to be preoccupied with half-naked women and bad-boy footballers.

Will sanctions or support ward off trouble?

One element of the "triple track" response in the new Youth Taskforce Action Plan is the idea of non-negotiable support. Some will immediately baulk at the concept: surely support has to be wanted to be effective?

Why should the young have to conform?

I have just read Helen Reddington's book The Lost Women of Rock Music, which traces what happened to the influx of female musicians who entered the business in the 1970s and early 80s.

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