We had about five minutes with Beverley Hughes MP because she was called back to the House of Commons to vote! Basically, she said sorry she was late, thanked us for coming, told us that she recognised the importance of joined up solutions, that she recognised the scale of the challenge we were facing and that she was pleased that we were working with the DCSF on these wicked issues.
We did spend the best part of two hours with DCSF colleagues talking about the challenges we face, but what was very clear was that the real focus was around teenage pregnancy NEET; young people not in education, employment or training, youth justice and tackling extremism, The thing I constantly wrestle with on days like today are what did it cost to bring six of us and three colleagues from Government Office down to London to meet with about ten of them and what real value did it add?
I suppose the real challenge is for us to make sure that we build on the outcomes from the meeting and use them powerfully to support us as we continue to drive the Children's agenda here in Leeds. Hopefully at the same time we can declutter and focus our resources on the real issues we are facing.