Following complaints from residents related to youth anti-social behaviour, today MP for Edgbaston, Preet Kaur Gill, was joined by Colin Diamond Corporate Director for Children and Young People at Birmingham City Council – and local youth and community workers on a visit to Bartley Green.
Youth anti-social behaviour in Bartley Green is largely driven by a lack of amenities and community facilities for young people. Local authority cuts and a lack of investment in Bartley Green as an area have deprived young people of spaces to socialise, encouraging them towards behaviour which disturbs local residents.
During the visit Preet Gill MP met with a constituent who, among other concerns, has not been able to use her garden for over a year due to the behaviour of teenagers in the area.
Preet said: ‘It is essential that residents can access adequate and timely support from the police when they are dealing with anti-social behaviour. However, residents also need to work with local police to identify perpetrators and to propose potential solutions.
‘I plan to work with local police forces, the housing teams at Birmingham City Council and local residents to encourage communication between these groups, for the benefit of all residents in Bartley Green.’
In addition to hearing about the problems related to anti-social behaviour, Preet Gill MP and Colin Diamond heard of the great youth work that is currently being done out of Newman University and St Francis Church and Community Centre in Woodgate Valley. Many young people in Bartley Green are keen to engage, but the work that youth workers can do is restricted by limited funding.
Preet Gill MP said: ‘Much more needs to be done to fund and support detached youth work in the Bartley Green area, and I will work to secure such funding.
‘Improving access to youth services is Bartley Green is essential both for improving the lives of local residents suffering from anti-social behaviour and for raising the aspirations of young people in the area. Encouraging young people to lead fruitful, crime-free lives must be a priority.’