Gary's News and views

Gary Streeter MP for South West Devon

Gary writes a weekly article which appears in the Plympton Plymstock and Ivybridge News in South West Devon. The articles are published here.


Thursday, 4 July 2013


On Saturday I attended the 60th anniversary of 1st Hooe Girl's Brigade. Girl's Brigade is a faith based movement which in a context of fun and friendship teaches timeless values. Contrary to what some might have predicted, the movement continues to go from strength to strength.

As does Boy's Brigade, the Scouts, the Guides,  Cadet forces and a huge host of organisations for young people. But they only survive and flourish because there are sufficient adults willing to put in the effort and slog to lead and oversee these groups.

In Hooe a lady known as Captain Jean has been instilling these good values (love your neighbour, treat people as you want to be treated yourself, go the extra mile and so on) for many years. I met several girls who gave testimony to the genuine difference these principles have made to them. In an age of so much transience it is encouraging to know that timeless values have not lost their resonance. I don't know where Captain Jean will be when she gets to Heaven, but I suspect that she will be a good deal closer to the VIP seats than I will!

Plymouth is full of people who care about the next generation. Scout leaders, football coaches, dance teachers and a whole lot more.
At Colebrook Carnival on Saturday there were dozens of children being taught to dance or twirl batons or bang dustbin lids and make music by a team of dedicated adults. One of my grandsons plays rugby for the Plymstock Oaks Under 9s. He loves it. This would not be possible without the dedication of the volunteer coaches, turning out in all weathers.

It is not just the volunteers. We are also fortunate to have locally a crop of dedicated professionals who live to invest in the next generation. They are called teachers. I have learnt in recent years just how hard they work and how committed they are to the children in their care. I support many of the educational reforms we are trying to introduce, to drive up standards, but one thing my government has not got right is that we do not give the impression that we sufficiently trust our professional teachers. We should not be looking over their shoulders constantly, we should be trusting them to do their jobs.

A huge thank you to all the people out there who invest in the next generation. The future is bright.

posted by Gary @ 07:46