Saturday, 29 November 2008

I went on to the 'Meet The Cabinet' session at Savile Hall near the Royal Armouries...

Around 200 people from businesses, councils, health authorities and the voluntary and community sector from across Yorkshire and the Humber had been invited to the event where we had the chance to quiz Gordon Brown and his cabinet. The audience also included thirty young people from the Leeds Youth Council, the Youth Parliament and our young Anti-Bullying Ambassadors.

Senior ministers sat around tables discussing a range of topics, including the economy, education, housing and climate change. I was lucky enough to sit with Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families.

We also had the chance to direct questions to the Prime Minister, with topics raised including climate change, problems with the construction industry and the effect of the credit crunch on small businesses. The best question came from one of our young people from the Leeds Youth Council who received warm applause when she addressed the Prime Minister and told him: "Young people get a bad press. People should know that most young people do good things", particularly here in Leeds.

These young people are our future and it was great to talk to them after the event. We all need to show them more respect and listen to their ideas and solutions to the challenges we face.

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