Doncaster MP Nick Fletcher tells parents to ‘get off their phones’ in order to combat children taking drugs and calls for more youth clubs

Doncaster mayor Ros Jones has said if Conservative MP Nick Fletcher wants more youth clubs in the borough, he ‘needs to lobby his government for more funding’.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Monday, 11th July 2022, 3:59 pm

Mayor Jones was responding to a letter sent by Mr Fletcher that called on the council to invest in more youth clubs to combat drug abuse in communities.

He said that he ‘keeps asking for youth clubs’ in his constituency but he was ‘not getting all the support’ he needed.

Mayor Jones hit back and said the youth services budget had been cut by nearly 93 per cent since 2010.

Don Valley MP Nick Fletcher and Doncaster mayor Ros Jones

The Labour mayor added that Mr Fletcher should be asking ministers for an upheaval of funding from his own government.

In the letter, the Don Valley MP also said: “Parents get off your phones, don’t go for the easy life, really get involved with, play with them, talk to them.

“The only way we win this war and I believe we can is together, so to the police do everything you can, to the council really help me with the youth clubs, to parents be the best you can be and to all my constituents if you can give a few hours a week, please do.”

Mayor Jones also said that the Don Valley MP has met face-to-face to discuss issues but added her door ‘is always open to anyone’.

“In 2010, the council spent roughly £7 million pounds a year on youth services and the annual budget now stands at roughly £500,000,” Mayor Jones said.

“It’s a sad reality of over 10 years of austerity and Conservative cuts. Doncaster now has 28 per cent less to spend than it did in 2010 and that equates to a pot of over £105 million.

“So if Nick really wants to help us and wants to see more youth clubs and youth services, the biggest thing he can do is actually lobby his government and seek to get a reversal in austerity because we’re seeing the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.

“We need to see the end of austerity and for proper funding to be given to us, not for one year but a proper programme of local government funding.”

Nick Fletcher’s letter in full:

I want to speak about my war on drugs.

In this job I get to see all the havoc that they cause.

I get to speak to families that have been wrecked by them.

Only recently I spoke to a lady whose son was 40 and still struggling desperately with his habit.

She said “he was a lovely boy, really good looking too. And now he’s skin and bone, no teeth and can be quite horrible too.”

She said she was waiting for the phone call, you know the one, the one where it is tragically too late.

Now I will never stop pushing the police and authorities to do everything they can to bring the dealers the organised crime gangs to justice.

But we can’t police our way out of this epidemic.

I’m afraid there has to be some responsibility on all of us.

I keep asking for youth clubs in my towns but I’m not getting all the support I need.

So if you can help please email me as I’m sure this will help so much.

Many of you ask what I can do about antisocial behaviour which is often caused by drugs. But I ask, what can you do?

I’m afraid just blaming the authorities is not going to help.

Apparently half a million people have retired early since Covid. All that experience sat at home watching TV, when I know you could help.

So please email me, come and make a difference, the kids need you, I need you. Society needs you.

You have so much to give, you have so much value, don’t waste it watching the latest Netflix series that often glamorise the evil of drugs.

Parents I need you do everything you can to stay together and look out for the signs that things are not as they should be with your child.

Dads you have a huge part.

I was told when I was a young dad, your son doesn’t want PlayStation 3, he wants you to play with the PlayStation he’s got.

So true.

So parents get off your phones, dont go for the easy life, really get involved with, play with them, talk to them.

Mine are grown up now and although I did spend a lot of time with them my mind was often elsewhere. So please, please get off your phone and be part of their life.

And if your family has already sadly split, no matter whose fault, don’t weaponise your kids.

Don’t use them as pawns in your game.

Kids need both parents that’s mum and dad.

And if dads permanently gone then get them a good male role model in their life.

Grandad, uncle close family friend but someone you know whose good.

If you don’t they may well find one themselves and who knows who that could be.

Lads need Dads but if they haven’t , get someone who can almost be as good.

Finally, to those taking recreational drugs a bit of harmless fun you say.

Trust me it’s not, drugs are like any other product supply and demand.

No demand no supply.

Because while ever you’re taking your little trip some poor boy or girl is in a crime gang they can’t get out of and are on a pathway to forced prostitution, probably an overdose or prison.

Think about this in your designer suit shoving coke up your nose. It could be your daughter that’s in the supply chain. Now how does that feel.

The only way we win this war and I believe we can is together, so to the police do everything you can, to the council really help me with the youth clubs, to parents be the best you can be and to all my constituents if you can give a few hours a week, please do.

I’m doing long hours and I will never stop, so please keep the politics out of this and let’s win this war on drugs.

If you want to help then please email me at [email protected]