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Nick Webb: Driving forward policy for young people

Nick_webb Nick is a founder member of South Gloucestershire CF and tried to apply for the Chairmanship of Bristol and Gloucestershire.

I have contacted all the national candidates highlighting concerns and suggesting solutions. I’ve had some interesting replies. Indeed one candidate is even travelling to South Gloucestershire to meet my local branch. Perhaps the most interesting issue to come out from the emails has been the political stance CF should take.

I look at interest groups within the main party such as Cornerstone who maintain loyalty to the party while at the same time pushing their traditional Tory agenda and I can see a similar role for CF. At the moment CF seems to have very little policy role and I think the time is long over due for that to change. CF should be the youth/young persons lobby group within the party. We should be tackling policy for issues such as self-harm among teenagers, university costs and the ability of those in their 20s to get on the housing ladder. Why, when there is a group of intelligent 16-30 year olds, do we leave all the policy making in the things that directly affect us to the 40 and 50 year olds?

Aside from creating better policy for young people this would help engage people in CF. At the moment it seems as if being a member of CF means we meekly support policy thought up by people a generation older than us with no input. It would be far more interesting for people to join if they felt they could really make a contribution to national policy. Equally the elections would be more interesting if the candidates took policy positions on issues directly effecting young people.

One candidate suggested to me that there was a fear this could lead to division and cited battles of YC’s “sound” and “wets” camps in years gone by. My response to that would be that those battles are in the past, current CF members were not politically aware, maybe some weren’t even born, during the YC days. The Conservative Party prides itself on being a broad-church and I believe there is room for debate, think tanks and pressure groups without creating dissent and division. If CF is not going to represent the interests of young people then who is? CF, it is time to take a stand on the politics that affects us from teenage to thirty.


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