Pamela Hall and Chris Bullivant, at a Centre for Social Justice Event on 20100305

Chris Bullivant and Pamela Hall

Last week, I attended an event by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), hosted by Frontline Church. The event discussed some of the causes of crime.

Representatives of local charities and social enterprises which deal with poverty, addiction, and worklessness, also attended the event.

They came together to hear about the CSJ’s “Breakthrough Britain” research and to share ideas with each other.

We began with a sobering look at CSJ’s research findings, delivered by Chris Bullivant, CSJ’s projects director.

As a councillor, I’m familiar with the serious challenges in our broken society, but the statistics are still shocking to me. Here are some startling facts from Chris’ presentation:

  • 1 in 5 girls between 15 and 17 has self harmed.
  • 1 in 10 16-18 year olds are not in education, employment or training.
  • 1 million children have parents addicted to alcohol.
  • And 350,000 have parents addicted to drugs.

This is the reality of life for some of our young people in Labour’s broken Britain, and it has to change.

It was great to hear from some local people who are working in our local communities and making a real difference.

Our host, Pastor Nic Harding of Frontline Church in Wavertree, told us about the Church’s varied programmes. These programmes are designed to give local children positive ways of spending their time, to help stop them from joining gangs and causing trouble for others.

We heard about the Tranmere Community Project which provides alternative education for young people on the Wirral, who would otherwise drop out of mainstream education.

We also heard about Greg Walker, the Chief Executive of CREATE Community Recycling and Training, who has developed an incredibly successful business. CREATE has helped over 500 people get back into employment over the past 15 years.

All of these groups do incredible work in our local communities. The commitment, support and inspiration they give to others is amazing. They need to be encouraged and the Conservative Party will encourage them with its vision of a “Big Society”.

There is only so much that a Government can do. So rather than government and state run agencies running local services, Conservatives will encourage more people to get involved in running their local communities.

This would mean that local people, alongside existing community groups, charities and businesses, can come together to solve their problems and create their own solutions. These local groups would then take control over how services are provided and will have the chance to make a difference in their own communities.

The Conservative Party is the party of social responsibility and social action.

The Conservative Party believes that local people should have more control over their own lives.

The Big Society is at the heart of the Conservative’s vision for change.

And the time for that change is now.

Recently, Andrew Lansley, Shadow Health Secretary, and I were invited to Alder Hey Children’s hospital. We were given a tour of the facilities and met with staff and patients, not only from Liverpool but from around the country.

As part of the visit, we were shown the hospital’s new state of the art MRI scanner – the first of its type in Western Europe. Providing vital imaging to surgeons during operations ensures they remove tumours with complete accuracy first time, and the technology and the results it demonstrates looked amazing and really makes a difference during surgery.

We were also given an overview of the hospitals trust vision for a new Children’s Health Park at Alder Hey. There are plans for new wards, research facilities and significant landscaping of the whole site. The hospital’s management were very passionate about the project and believe the park will be world class.

I am delighted to support their lobby for the Health Park and believe it would bring huge benefits to Liverpool. The park could improve patients health, regenerate the area and bring new jobs and high quality skills to West Derby.

Mr Lansley and I were particularly impressed by the dedication, professionalism and commitment from the staff at Alder Hey and many patients and their families agreed. Considering the Victorian building and difficult circumstances they work in, the Alder Hey staff do a fantastic job and have my full support in their bid for a new facility.

The website of Councillor Pamela Hall, Conservative PPC for Liverpool West Derby