Text Box: 20th June 2005      

*Cllr Stephen Burke
Leader of the Council
London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham
Town Hall
King Street
London W14 9JU

Dear Cllr Burke

Re: Hammersmith and Fulham Residents’ Petition in support of the Vince Hines Foundation 

First let us congratulate you on your recent appointment as Leader of the Council. 

Attached is a List, in excess of fifteen hundred residents’ signatures, petitioning the Council for support of the Vince Hines Foundation, founded and operated in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, since 1975. The Foundation has shown to have done crucial work, particularly among disadvantaged children and young people. This work is part of the Charity’s long established programme of working in partnership with others, in assisting to give each child the best start in life.

The petitioners recognised and welcome the thrust of your new Cabinet as stated in your published inaugural speech, namely “to continue to improve services and engage local people in how we can work together to continue to make Hammersmith & Fulham a great place to live and work in…,creating new and better opportunities for all our residents and supporting those most in need. We are making it easier for everyone to contact us and responding better to the needs of local residents. In the coming year Stephen Cowan and I want to meet as many residents as possible in the borough and hear about their issues and concerns.”

It is within this framework that we present this petition to you and members of your Cabinet chiefly because the issues involved cut across several Cabinet members portfolios – Social Services, Education, Youth and Regeneration.
The idea of the petition was voiced by a group of 15-16 year olds, who   benefited from the Charity’s service over the past twelve months. The young people were concerned about the threat of closure to the charity   because of funding needs. The Charity provides a monthly average of 231case activities. (The full extent of the Foundation’s work can be viewed on the Charity’s website: www.ubol.com). As a result, a group of children and young people have taken on the task of approaching residents, explaining their concerns and asking for support.   We believe that you and Cabinet colleagues will agree that this  exercise in local democracy should be encouraged among young residents.

We invite your Cabinet’s review and resolution of:

Outstanding issues relating to the Vince Hines Foundation and Connexions funding. This matter rests with the Education Department;
  The question of  Positive Activities for Young People (PAYP) funding to the Foundation for 2005/06, particularly during the approaching long summer break. Very many children and young people are looking forward to this traditional service provided by the Foundation. The Foundation has made tentative plans to provide these activities, as there is an expectation for a renewal of this programme. There is  no known reason  why  PAYP budget has not so far allocated  and offered to the Charity to provide this service for beneficiaries. The Foundation provided successful  and verifiable activities for children and young people consistently, using PAYP funding during the past three years. Funds for this programme are provided by the Government Office of London. This budget is being managed by the Youth Service;
The reason, after several proposals in the past, the Foundation has not been able to secure funding from the Children's Funds, in spite of the fact that the Foundation  satisfies the Funds criteria and has significant number of children needing such support in this regard. This matter rests with the Social Services Department; and
The reason the Foundation and its significant numbers of beneficiaries have been excluded from benefiting from regeneration monies coming into the Borough, in spite of a number of targeted proposals made to the regeneration funds, including the New Deal for Communities. The Foundation is based in the North Fulham NDC target area, and provided across the board support for residents of that area, including White City, Shepherd’s Bush, East Acton and Sands End. This is, of course, a Regeneration matter.

It may be appropriate here to bring to Cabinet members  attention some specific published responses by Hammersmith and Fulham residents and their support for the work of the Foundation:

Kim, 15, lives in the North Fulham New Deal for Communities target area. When asked why she supported the petition, said, “the Foundation helped me out. Keep me off the streets. I go on lots of trips, go-karting, theme parks, and residential adventure activities in Devon. Me and my friends use the Foundation’s computers for home work assignments and checked our e-mails.”

Tom, 16, White City resident, said “the Foundation helped me and many of my friends with moped CBT courses and insurance. We can get jobs with this. If we have any problem, we prefer to go and talk to someone at the Foundation, and they will understand. It’s like a big family really.  Staffs are friendly and helpful, and they always asked us what sort of activities we want. We help to plan things.”

The above are typical testimonies by individuals who benefited from the work of the Foundation. Residents’ strong support for the Foundation is encouraging to the trustees, staff, volunteers and users alike. It is good that so many members of the community recognised existing needs and the effort of the Foundation in addressing some of those needs. To be fully successful, we need our elected Council representatives on board as well.

Thank you for your consideration.

Yours respectfully

Dr. Vince Hines, MA, DSC(Soc)
For and on behalf of Petitioners

Copy:
*The Mayor, Cllr Charlie Treloggan, 
*Cllr Melanie Smallman, Cabinet Member for Education.
*Cllr Reg McLaughlin, Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion.
*Cllr Sally Powell, Cabinet Member for Regeneration
***Chair, North Fulham New Deal for Communities Board

**Greg Hands MP 
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA 


*Andrew Slaughter MP
House of Commons
London SW1A OAA
* Labour   **Conservative ***Non-Party

“Exercise

 In

Local Democracy”

 

By Dr. K W Spence-Lewis

Senior Consultant Researcher

 

Addressed to Cllr Stephen Burke, recently elected Labour Leader of the Council, petition consisting over fifteen hundred names and signatures of residents were presented to the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham Council, at the Town Hall, in support of the work of the Vince Hines Foundation, a thirty year old registered education charity. signatures were collected by children and young people, users of the Foundation services.

 

In his to the Council, for on behalf of the petitioners, Dr. Vince Hines, one of the founders and trustees of the Charity, said: "The Foundation has shown to have done crucial work, particularly among disadvantaged children and young people. This work is part of the Charity’s long established programme of working in partnership with others, in assisting to give each child the best start in life."

 

He continued: "We believe that you and Cabinet colleagues will agree that this  exercise in local democracy should be encouraged among young residents."

 

 

Full text of Dr. Hines' letter is reproduced below: