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Around 100 young people and public sector professionals joined the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham to debate key issues affecting communities at the city region’s youth conference.  The event, which was held at Bury Town Hall and organised by Youth Focus North West, focused on four topics – hate crime, health, Curriculum for Life, and transport. Together the young people and officers from organisations including Greater Manchester Police, Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, Transport for Greater Manchester and some of the city-region’s directors of children’s services debated these key issues and came up with solutions. These were then presented to a panel including the mayor; Councillor Rishi Shori, leader of Bury Council; and Jon Rouse, chief executive of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership. Some of the key solutions proposed included financial management being part of a curriculum for life, and young people being able to access health professionals who can relate well to them. The conference comes hot on the heels of the mayor’s recent announcement that a Greater Manchester Youth Combined Authority will be formed to give young people a greater voice in policy and decision making. Cllr Shori, who is GMCA portfolio lead for young people and social cohesion, said: “I was delighted that Bury hosted the Greater Manchester youth conference as I believe it is so important for young people’s voices to be heard and for them to have the opportunities to work with us to shape their own future.” Liz Harding, chief executive of Youth Focus North West, said: “It was brilliant to see so many leaders and young people coming together to discuss shared concerns and how to tackle them. This is the start of an ongoing conversation, which will result in real changes for young people.” Andy Burnham closed the event stating that, with his help, he wants the young people of Greater Manchester to lead changes for themselves and for the generations that come after.



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