The letters in the Thame Gazette over the last few weeks have raised issues that clearly matter to the people of Thame: dog mess, parking, the state of the pavements and litter.
They were raised in my Thame survey which I undertook last year and I have reported them to our councils which I know take them seriously.
However, the letter that I took exception to, along with others, was the one which negatively stereotyped young people.
To make assumptions about people and their lives from street observations is shallow and so often misjudged. Such assumptions perhaps tell us more about the observer than the observed.
They are also so out-of-date.
Responses to my Thame survey indicated that making sure there are opportunities for young people was a priority.
Young people face tough times. They get a bad press despite much good work that many do.
Thame has done well in tackling this.
The number of people claiming unemployment benefit has fallen year on year and of 18-24 year olds the figure for Thame for July this year was just 10 claimants.
This shows how the government plan to get people off benefits and into work is itself working.
The government pledged to make it more attractive to be in work than on benefits. However there are some people who do genuinely need help.
It is a mark of a civilised society that we help those who genuinely cannot support themselves and I am pleased that the reform of the welfare system aims to do just that.
We are running the largest programme to get people into work since the 1930s. The annual drop in youth JSA claimants is the largest since 1997.
There are over 1.8 million apprenticeships which have started since the election.
There is more to do.
But the one thing we are not doing is building a society of tomorrow’s benefits claimants.
What do you think?
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