Young people’s plan launched in Harrogate

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An innovative three-year plan for young people, developed partly by 15,000 children across North Yorkshire, has been launched in Harrogate.

The plan, called Young and Yorkshire, is made up of three key priorities that North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) will be working on to 2017.

The aims are to ensure all children attend good or outstanding schools by 2017, safely reduce the number of children in care by providing services to families, and prioritise healthy lifestyles by tackling obesity and poor diet, but also road safety and zero tolerance of hate crime.

With more than 1,000 postcards sent directly by young people to director of children and young people’s services Pete Dwyer, these are made with children in mind and were set out at a launch event at the Cedar Court Hotel.

Mr Dwyer said: “Our priorities are based on clear evidence about what is needed and what works and, crucially, are driven by what children and young people themselves have told us.

“We recognise that although most of them already experience a fantastic upbringing in this very special county, that is not necessarily the case for every single one of them.

“We will not rest until we can confidently say that all North Yorkshire children’s life chances are in their own hands, rather than being determined by geography or family circumstances.

“In challenging financial times it is even more important that the county is crystal clear about its priorities for children and young people and willing to work in partnership across all agencies and sectors.”

From the executive for children and young people’s services Coun Arthur Barker and Coun Tony Hall wrote in their foreword to the plan that their job is to champion the achievements of young people and fight their corners.

The foreword said: “Our children and young people achieve some of the best educational outcomes in the country and continue in their tens of thousands to contribute to the world in a myriad of ways.

“The purpose of the plan is to make sure that North Yorkshire really is one of the greatest places in which to grow up.”