Youth Council Working Group Update
Cabinet received a presentation on the progress of the development of a RBWM Youth Council.
The Deputy Chairman of Cabinet, Adult Social Care, Children’s Services, Health and Mental Health informed Cabinet that Cabinet had previously approved the creation of a Youth Council, one of the recommendations was to establish a working group. The presentation was to provide an update on the progress of this group, he welcomed Imogen Cobbold (RBWM Youth Ambassador) and Catie Holden (RBWM Girls Forum Member) who were presenting on behalf of the working group.
The girls informed Cabinet that the working group had been established to plan the governance and the structure and accountability of the Youth Council. Looking at processes that allowed consultation on issues that affected young people and a process of communication and question sessions with Cabinet members.
The working group was driven by young people with the assistance of Cllrs Carroll and McWilliams, Karen Shepherd (RBWM Head of Governance) and excellent support from Elaine Keating.
The had drafted 18 rules and regulations. Each meeting would have standing items including looking at the Cabinet Forward Plan and scrutiny Panel’s work programmes so they could see if there are item they wish to comment upon.
Cabinet Members and other councillors would be invited to their meetings to help develop policy and enhance the council’s aims and objectives. This can include Q&A sessions on pre-arranged topics.
The Youth Council can raise any problems or concerns with Democratic Services and challenge the administration on areas that affect young people.
The working group had advertised the Youth Council using the council’s social media channels, had press releases and been in the RBWM residents newsletter.
There was still more work to be done and they would be responding to all applications to join, 18 so far, continue to promote the council and establish a work programme and manifesto.
The Deputy Chairman of Cabinet, Adult Social Care, Children’s Services, Health and Mental Health thanked the young ladies for their comprehensive update and work of the working group. There was a clear blueprint and structure that was being lead by young people.
The Chairman also thanked the girls for their presentation and that he was please to see them having a flying start with 16 applicants to join the council.
The Cabinet Member for Finance and Ascot made reference to the five objectives highlighted within the letter contained in the presentation and highlighted the one about producing campaigns and projects. He was informed that this could include issues such as climate change and that they would be trying to get representatives from all secondary schools so there would be a broad range of issues and topics.
The Cabinet Member for Planning, Environmental Services, and Maidenhead informed that he had a paper later on the agenda regarding the Maidenhead Vision and he would be looking to engage with the Youth Council to get young peoples views on the future of the town.
The Deputy Leader of the Council, Corporate & Resident Services, Culture & Heritage, and Windsor said it had been an excellent presentation and she looked forward to working with the Youth Council. She asked how often they planned to meet and how many members were planned. She was informed that it had not yet been decided how often they would meet but at least one per month and maybe every two weeks. There was currently no limits on membership but at least one from every borough school and other appropriate groups such as Kickback.
Cllr Tisi said that it was striking to see that the working group had three young women on it which was fantastic to see women interested in politics as the Council was dominated by men. She asked what they were doing to make sure minority groups and ethnic backgrounds were included and feel safe.
She was informed that they would be working to make the Forum diverse and inclusive, young people from different groups would be encouraged to join. Getting representatives from as many schools as possible would help.
The Deputy Chairman of Cabinet, Adult Social Care, Children’s Services, Health and Mental Health said that he would make sure the Youth Council was published widely including faith groups and stakeholders. This would be open to everyone and encouraged those interested to apply. He again thanked the working group for getting us to this point.
Cabinet noted the presentation.