From the barber's chair: The young men making their voice heard this election

  • "It's like a melting pot of different communities, different backgrounds... that's what makes Britain a great place to live."

Tucked away in one of Cardiff's most diverse areas is the barber shop that is talking politics ahead of this week's general election.

The area is described as "a melting pot of different communities" and at Bay Barbers in the heart of Butetown, they embrace that, with one customer saying it's what makes Britain a "great place to live".

Ahmed says he feels like their opinions and views are often not heard or spoken about outside of their community

"This area is very community based meaning everyone knows their story, everyone knows what the problems are," says Ahmed.

But for a community that's so close knit, customers at the shop say people often feel misrepresented and that their voices go unheard.

Mustafa wants to see more investment in youth services and better integration in the city

Mustafa, who is in his early twenties, will be taking to the polls only for the second time on Thursday.

"I don't think politicians understand the needs of the general folk. I think they're out of touch, they're out of date. I feel like my vote will not make the difference."

"The major issues that face our community is a lack of opportunity, is a lack of facilities, a lack of funding. At the end of the day Brexit is not the cause of the majority of the problems that are occurring in the UK."

For a community that knows each other so well, it is unsurprising to hear the same issue at the forefront of everyone's mind.

Youth services.

The men in the barber shop say cuts to youth services in their area has had an effect

"There's no more youth centres and that's caused a lot of issues especially in this area because a lot of our youth are getting involved in drugs, the stab rate has gone higher and you've got to ask yourself why is that?

"Because these kids had a place to go where they wouldn't be able to get into that situation, so what are these parties doing regarding combating these issues we're facing?"

Butetown has been ranked in the top five places in Wales with the highest levels of child poverty. Figures by End Child Poverty show 46% of the children growing up in the area are in poverty.

Dr Saalah Joubran said he wants more people in parliament to represent his community

The barber shop owner, Dr Saalah Joubran, agreed that youth services are a major concern for him as a father.

"The most important thing for me is having somewhere for the kids around here to go - because there is nowhere.

"We need someone to identify our needs and serve this community and our children.

"Politics is exciting everyone here - everyone is debating about it. It's really healthy but we need someone from our community that represents us in parliament.

  • What are the parties pledging?

The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are both pledging £500m to invest in youth services.

Labour said it will "invest in a youth justice system in which schools, local authorities, health authorities and youth services work together to divert young people away from the pathways towards crime."

Plaid Cymru said it "will work with youth clubs, sport governing bodies... voluntary organisations and youth workers to improve youth services".

The Green Party said "all the evidence shows the cuts in youth services have increased crime, especially knife crime".

"It said it would invest in youth services and centres ,to help turn at-risk children away from crime."

Amir is voting for the first time in the general election

One of the people taking to the polls for the first time is barber Amir. When asked why he had never voted before by one of his customers, he replied, "I don't know, I've never been asked this question before."

Despite never taking to the polls in previous elections, Amir is hopeful this election will change things.

"I've been studying all my life to get this degree and then get a decent nice job and I've been surprised that I couldn't get a good job, a job that I hopefully this election changes something in this community."