Would you say.....

  spuds 08:39 08 May 2007

that pensioner's, disabled people, single mum's and dad's,under privileged (!), children and/or teenager's on the whole, are well catered for, and their needs are met here in the UK or within the EU .

  jack 09:30 08 May 2007

By any standards yes
France and Germany can be indicated perhaps as giving more - but bankrupting themselves in the process.
The Health service in France for example is often cited as being far and away ahead of the UK's
In fact it can and often is far worse in the day to day public hospital scene- See the SundayTimes for 6-5
Item "French Hospitals are as sick as NHS"- Lois Rogers in News Review click here

My travels in Scandinavia last summer reveal most things were comparable to UK standards with variations both ways.

  Jim Thing 11:10 08 May 2007

I lived in the Netherlands for sixteen years and found the Dutch health-care system to be far superior to ours. One of their ideas which I feel we could usefully adopt is that the health authority may send someone round to your house to check that you're actually sick and not taking a few days off to go fishing, paint the house or whatever...

The Dutch state pension is also more generous than ours (it's difficult to imagine that it could be less so!) and just to add the finishing touch, Dutch retirement pensions include a 'holiday pay' supplement paid in May every year.

  Watchful 13:09 08 May 2007

I would suggest, just going off my own area, that pensioners and disabled people are well catered for and probably single mums/dads as there are plenty of facilities for them and most buildings are now equipped with ramps and wide doors.

Teenagers and young people though have not many facilities at all.

All our local parks have been re-vamped to provide for small children but we have a big problem with teenagers hanging around in large gangs swigging beer they buy at Bargain Booze shops. They could do with more indoor gathering places where they could perhaps play sports or just meet up with their friends.

Financially, I hear that some other countries pay higher pensions but I'm not sure how this is balanced by expense on other amenities for other groups.

  Kate B 13:41 08 May 2007

That's a very good point about teenagers - they need support and direction and a lot of the time they don't get it. The challenge, though, is to come up with schemes that they'll be interested in. Somehow youth clubs don't quite cut it as they tend to be run by adults with their own view about what teens should want, rather than knowledge of what teens actually want - and need.

  Diemmess 15:27 08 May 2007

At our last (small) PC meeting there was discussion about possibilities of providing a "youth shelter" like a glorified bus stop.

Two members both experienced in day to day youth training and education agreed the young folk MUST be involved in the choice of site.
If so it would be used and respected.

Merely to provide such a building and say "Use it" was to court vandalism and waste public money.

  spuds 16:35 08 May 2007

Youth and kid's participation as proved a big winner in a neighbouring council's area, which is about 2 miles from my home. Having had more that a fair share of vandalism and associated bad behaviour, all parties got together and discussed what was needed to solve the problem. As a result of that and other meetings. The council provided suitable land and part funding, the kids provided the knowledge of design and self policing of the area, and as a result there is now a great skateboard and bmx park.Built three about years ago, used daily by many and still in pristine condition. Total cost £30000.00, which as already provided a good return on investment.

If this is a typical example, then I cannot understand why other bodies do not consider doing various projects like this. Community participation does work, providing authorities accept that responsibilities are equally shared as the way forward.Officialdom can prove to be a barrier if not used correctly.

  Watchful 17:38 08 May 2007

Our local council has in fact started a pilot scheme of 'Youth Shelters' but it is too early yet to say whether it has worked. One has been opened in a particular 'black spot.'

The key factor is to get the youths involved in making decisions and that may help them develop a sense of responsibility.

Some members of the community have complained about the money being spent on this but I feel that everyone will reap the benefits in the long run.

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