Posts Tagged ‘Feltham Young Offenders Institute’

More focus on manners and politeness is needed

November 9, 2009

I think that this applies across the board but I had the honour and pleasure of representing the Council last Thursday at the Official opening of the new Heron Wing at the Feltham Young Offenders Institution.  There was genuine excitement about the potential and it is an excitement that I share.  As the Mayor, Boris Johnson, got across schemes like this make sense both financially and for everyone in society.  I was also impressed with the speech given by Jack Straw MP.  It got me thinking about whether he is an example of a politician who comes across much better in the flesh than on television.

I disgress…

I visited a number of stands that had been set up for Guests.  I also read some of the literature and criteria that is considered for agreeing to an application for early release.  All sensible stuff and whilst there is an explicit reference to good behaviour, there is none to good manners.  The two are not always the same.  I am guessing that Good Behaviour could be down, for example, to an Offender not showing any violence or aggression towards others.  Of course, good behaviour is critical but taking a view on how an Offender being released will interact and speak with others is surely critical also.

They have a difficult job to do at FYO with most being on remand.  Notwithstanding that, they do their very best to enhance Skill Set of the Offenders whilst they are in their care.

I doubt that anyone would disagree that there is a better chance of these Offenders re-offending when there has been an investment in Skills Training with/on/in some of these young men.  I think that this Popular Consensus is established.

Would anyone disagree that there is a better chance of re-offending not happening when these young men have demonstrated that they understand the importance of being polite?  I would hope that every Offender leaves our Institutions in the future understanding that “Good Morning”, “Please”, “Thank you”, “Excuse Me” etc are necessary when interacting with others.

Good Manners and politeness are certainly under played these days.  Both need to be more explicit in policies of the next Government.

What a week!

April 26, 2009

An appalling budget.  Does the Labour Party have any humility?  Whilst this is a worldwide recession, we are in the mess we are in (in terms of debt) because of their Public Sector binge.  It is frightening just how much debt Britain is in.  Even further attacks on the motorist and pub goer will not resolve the problem of servicing that debt.  I do not recall one Labour representative saying, “maybe we should have done things differently when times were better?”.

On Thursday, St George’s flag was flown at the Civic Centre.

On Thursday night, I attended the Mayoral Event at the Music Museum in Brentford.  My first time there and I had a lovely evening.  I bid for two items in the Auction, one of which was two tickets to watch Brentford FC next season.  I am especially pleased about this with the excellent news that Brentford are on their way up next season.  Councillor Hibbs has done a great job as Mayor.  What has always struck me about her is just how genuine she is and what a big heart she has.  I am delighted that she has had the opportunity to offer so much to the Borough with what is such an important position.  Her Deputy, Shirley Fisher, has very similar qualities and has both done a great job as Deputy Mayor and made an impressive contribution as a Councillor.  We have served on some Complaint Panels together and she is the perfect member for such a panel – simply interested in coming to the right decision.

On Friday, Dominic Grieve MP, Peter Thompson and I visited Feltham Young Offenders.  It was my second time.  I was both encouraged and feeling down at the same time by what I saw from two young men I met at the computer lab.  Both were very bright and will clearly do well in life if their apply themselves and follow a good path.  How/Why do bright people like this end up in institutions like this.  There are possibly many reasons but frustrating nonetheless.

On Friday evening, the Feltham and Heston Conservative Association held what has become its Annual St George’s Dinner.  Dominic Grieve MP was again out Guest and he was brilliant.  Guests who are as friendly as they are intelligent always go down a treat.

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LtoR: Paul Bedi, Dominic Grieve MP, Mark Bowen, Patrick Ground

I had the pleasure of introducing our Guest and Patrick Ground gave the Vote of Thanks.  It never surprises me that Patrick was a very popular MP amongst all sides of the House of Commons and within Feltham and Heston.  A really really nice man!

A busy and emotional week

February 28, 2009

For the first time, I paid the Feltham Young Offenders Institute a visit this week.  I am really glad that I did.  I visited with Mary Macloed & Chris Grayling.  Had a very interesting chat with the Deputy Governor and some of his colleagues.  Got to see the work areas and visited a couple of the empty cells.  I even bumped into someone I had not seen since University who was doing some work connected to his job.

Like Millions of people, I was very sorry to hear about the loss of David Cameron’s son, Ivan.  I can think of nothing worse than losing a child and my heart goes out to him.

Been busy with the day job, sat in on an appointments panel at the Council, attended Executive and attended a surgery in Sparrow Farm.

Wales lost in the rugby last night but I watched a programme after it about Ray Gravell (please note that this will disappear in a few days) – very, very emotional and the song that was written by/for him is lovely.  For anyone who likes rugby, I would recommend watching it.