§ 1. Mr. Simon Hughes
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what plans he has to set up youth councils in Wales. 
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales (Mr. Jonathan Evans)
None, but the Welsh Office funds the Wales Youth Agency, which is working collaboratively with local authorities and key local agencies to encourage and inform the development of effective local youth councils throughout Wales.
§ Mr. Hughes
I am grateful to the Minister for that answer and that encouragement. I gather that in Barry, for example, an embryo youth council is already being enthusiastically supported by the Welsh Development Agency. Given that we are hearing from all sides that, in spite of best efforts, young people are still often apathetic and ignorant about the political process, will the Minister assure the House that his Department will do all that it can, both in support of the Wales Youth Agency and in other ways, to ensure that every opportunity is given to young people in and out of school throughout the Principality to learn that politics can be good for one?
§ Mr. Evans
As one who joined the Young Conservatives at the age of 15, I endorse the hon. Gentleman's latter sentiment. I thank him for his remarks about the Wales Youth Agency. It is right that the Welsh Office funds it. He will know that the United Kingdom Youth Work Alliance's document, "Agenda for a Generation: Building Effective Youth Work", is to receive its all-party Welsh launch in the House later this afternoon. I intend to be present at that launch, and I hope that that is the encouragement that he is looking for.
§ Mr. John Marshall
Does my hon. Friend agree that young people in Wales and elsewhere are interested in 894 policies that are relevant to their future, such as greater choice, lower taxation and a strong defence, and that only one party is willing to put forward those policies?
§ Mr. Evans
I very much endorse my hon. Friend' s observations, which would apply to the entire population. It is clear that the involvement of young people with a number of organisations during the formative years can play an important part in developing good programmes for good citizenship. The Welsh Office is supporting that through the provision of £761,000 this year for 17 national youth organisations and for the Wales Youth Agency itself. I regard that work as supplementary, in a sense, to the important considerations to which my hon. Friend has drawn the attention of the House.
§ Mr. Win Griffiths
I, too, will be at the launch this afternoon. Does the Minister recognise that the youth service—voluntary and statutory—plays a vital role in offering young people practical advice and guidance, imbued with moral purpose and direction, reflecting on their rights and duties as individuals, co-operating with others to create a new civic society in place of our present stressed and fractured one, in which, unfortunately, they are much more likely to have had experience of criminality, drugs and violence than people of my generation? Does he intend to do anything about that by bringing forward proposals to help the Wales Youth Agency and youth organisations and workers?
§ Mr. Evans
I very much welcome the hon. Gentleman's support for what I have said in relation to the launch this afternoon of the paper to which I referred. It is not good enough to say that such activity is the responsibility only of central Government. I have described the support that we are giving to the Wales Youth Agency and the 17 national youth organisations and the rest of it, but the hon. Gentleman's friends in local government also have a responsibility. It really is not: good enough to mouth such words in the House when Welsh youth services do not get the support that they are entitled to expect to receive from Welsh local authorities.