BUSINESSMEN, Harwich's MP and a deputy headteacher gave speeches about the future of the town at a youth conference last week.

Held at the King's Way Church in Main Road on Friday night, the event saw MP Bernard Jenkin challenge young people to discard negative attitudes and behaviours turn their disadvantages into advantages.

Deputy Harwich Mayor Robert Day counselled the youth to take their education seriously, Businessman Ed Bennett shared his passion for Harwich and invited the youth to dream big for the future, and deputy headteacher at Harwich and Dovercourt High School, Simon Garnham, called on parents and the wider community to take greater interest in the educational journeys of the children and youth.

Conference host, Dr Oweikumo Eradiri, expressed concern about the growing use of illicit drugs, smoking and alcohol abuse among young people.