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Chickens, Bureaucracy and Young People

Submitted on Tue, 12/01/2010 - 5:13pm

A common remark is that local government has far too much bureaucracy, so much so that the left-hand does not know what the right-hand is doing. Whilst the Hertfordshire adult is left morose by local government, it is playing a much more positive role for young people this January.

For some of us who have been in close contact with the Council, experience tells us that there is a counter-intuitive amount of paperwork. The Hertfordshire Mercury reported on New Year's Day that Ron Martin from Buntingford had fell foul of the Planning Inspectorate after keeping chickens and growing vegetables in land he bought from a local farmer behind his home.

The Planning Inspectorate's issue was the definition of the agriculture; Martin was not using the land specifically for either 'horticulture' or 'as an allotment'. It does seem unfair and ridiculous that the poor chap was reprimanded for attempting to grow his own. Some may argue that Martin should be praised for his commitment to sustainability.

School admissions are a hot topic for parents and applying for school places can be stressful and confusing. Herts County Council has just begun a public consultation on school admissions and this is your chance to change the process for the better. If you have any views or suggestions we recommend that you get involved. The closing date for applications is the 26th February 2010.

Some of us may forget that local government is more than just bins and tax; it can also plays an imperative role for young people. Herts County Council are working in partnership with It's our Theatre to provide free workshops and training for young people who'd like to learn more about performance and the arts in general.

A hat tip to the young folk of Hertfordshire for coping exceedingly well in the recession. The number of young people (16-18) classed as Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) is currently at 3.7%. This is well below the current national average of 6.5%.

Whilst the political parties scramble for votes in the upcoming general election, British teenagers in Hertfordshire vote for their own elected representatives in the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP). There are nineteen candidates standing to become Hertfordshire's six Member of Youth Parliaments (MYPs) and six Deputies. Teenagers who live or go to school in Hertfordshire can vote on the innovative Channel Mogo site until midday on the 5th February 2010.

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