Houghton Regis among 'Youth Spaces Fund' Winners



Houghton Regis was among the winners of funding allocated through the new Police and Crime Commissioner's office this week. 

Festus Akinbusoye, the newly elected PCC for Bedfordshire, was joined by young people from across Bedfordshire this week to invest £28,000 in improved spaces for young people.


On Tuesday 18th May, Festus, together with Chief Executive, Clare Kelly, hosted an online event with students from Bedford Academy and Denbigh High School to discuss improved spaces for young people in Bedfordshire.

Commissioner Akinbusoye said, “One of the best things decision-makers can do is to empower the people they are trying to support. I offered the chance to our young people to make decisions on behalf of their generation and they did not disappoint. They worked together and showed decisiveness as they worked through carefully all the options we gave them.”

Council leaders from across Bedfordshire were invited to bid into the Commissioner’s Youth Spaces Fund (see Note 1 below). Bids were encouraged to either make spaces safer or to provide safe spaces to go to for young people.  Over £40,000 worth of bids were received so the young people from Denbigh High, Bedford Academy, and Shefford based youth involvement were asked to work together on analysing the bids and deciding where the money should be allocated.

The award for Houghton Regis was for 'Development Of Parkside Recreation Ground'. A full list of winners can be found here

Chief Executive of the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Clare Kelly said, “The care and diligence the young people gave to this process should be applauded. I think the schools involved have done a fantastic job in supporting their young people and I am grateful to them for giving us this precious time in what we understand is a busy educational day. Although the session was designed to share knowledge with the students, I have to say we learned a lot from them as well.”


Festus Akinbusoye was elected to the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner on 6th May. He is now working with the office's Chief Executive to deliver a Police and Crime Plan based on the manifesto he was elected upon. That includes:

• Invest to bring back community-based policing for both our urban and rural communities
• Tackle drug dealing, antisocial behaviour and the causes of these crimes
• Support law-abiding citizens’ rights to a peaceful life in our county and put victims’ needs first
• Lead a multi-agency approach to early intervention and tackling re-offending
• Lead an open and transparent policing area.

Festus said, “As I begin my engagements with both residents and businesses I will be opening up communication for full conversations across different platforms. Meeting you where I can, live streaming key events and sharing information on our new website.  I look forward to taking up this challenge to be your Commissioner, getting things done.”

Other news for the PCC

2. Over the coming weeks, the office of the police and crime commissioner (opcc) is releasing detailed information relating to each of the 12 rights within the victims’ code. More about the victim's code.

Notes
1.  Improved Spaces for Young People. This fund of money has become available to the Commissioner because of the violence and exploitation reduction unit grant that was won this year. Project manager for the VERU, Kimberley Lamb arranged for the young people to support the commissioner with this important spend as it fits well with the VERU ethos of empowering our young people.

VERU — “We are here to help and support you if you want to get out of a gang, have concerns about knife crime or just generally want to take a different path to the one you are currently on.

“We are not the police. We are here to help you and to tackle the root causes of violence in Bedfordshire. ” Find out more about VERU.





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