Posted: 08 May 2017

What the local election results mean for children and young people

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The results are now in from last Thursday’s election of new councillors and regional mayors. 

There will inevitably be much written about how we can or cannot interpret the outcome of the upcoming general election given the results of last week’s local elections. It is vital however that amidst this speculation the needs of children and young people remain a top priority and local candidates keep them at the heart of their campaign. 

The results

The Conservative Party gained control of 11 councils, collected 563 new councillors and won 4 of the 6 new regional mayor positions – including for the West Midlands and Tees Valley. Labour lost control of 7 councils, lost 382 councillors, and won 2 of the regional mayor positions, in the Liverpool City region and Greater Manchester.  The Liberal Democrats lost 42 councillors.

find out more about our asks for the general election

What do these elections mean for young people?

Quite a lot. Across England and Wales 57 councils that are responsible for children’s services held elections last week.

These councils have a significant say on:

  • Education in their area
  • school nurses
  • social care for children with severe needs
  • homelessness services
  • housing and council tax benefits
  • youth services
  • youth offending services
  • skills and jobs
  • refugee and migrant children
  • ...and much, much more.

The new regional mayors all have slightly different powers and while none will have direct powers over councils’ children’s services, they will have significant powers over jobs, education and skills, housing, transport, and, in some areas, health.

Increasingly, more and more powers are being transferred from Westminster to local areas and so our local influencing work is becoming more of a priority for us. We are delighted therefore that Andy Burnham, the successful Labour candidate in Greater Manchester, said throughout his campaign and manifesto that he plans on making young people his priority for investment. He recently backed our campaign to provide a council tax exemption for care leavers and we look forward to working with him to make this a reality across Greater Manchester. Andy Street, the Conservative’s new West Midlands Mayor, has also put young people at the heart of his campaign, vowing to eradicate youth unemployment.

Stand up for children and young people this general election

As political heads now look to the general election on 8 June, we’re working on producing local packs for all candidates. These packs will provide an overview of children’s needs by constituency, equipping future MPs with the information required to put children and young people at the heart of their term in parliament.

By Tom Redfearn - Policy team

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