Headlines: March 28th, 2000

Policies and services affecting young people are sorely in need of joining up, according to a Policy Action Team (PAT) report.The report comes from one of eighteen such groups set up to take the Social Exclusion Unit’s report Bringing Britain Together, look at each point in detail and then feed into the emerging National Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal. This aims to bridge the gap between the most deprived neighbourhoods and the rest of England.

The report urges decisive action to create more coherent Government policies that will yield better key services.

Produced by a team of departmental officials and experts from the voluntary sector, research institutions, local government and the business community, the report welcomes much of what the Government has already put in place since coming to office. But it also says that more needs to be done to remedy the current fragmentation of policy thinking and service delivery.

The report puts forward the kind of changes to Government machinery its members think might achieve this, including the establishment of at least two named Youth Ministers to act as a central co-ordinating point in Government.

The report also calls for a change in emphasis of Government spending and action from crisis intervention to prevention, improvements in specific services for young people such as housing, health and administration of benefits, and more involvement of young people in the design and delivery oservices.

The latest PAT report can be found on the Social Exclusion Unit’s website www.cabinet-office.gov.uk/seu/index.htm.