Children and Young People's Learning Scrutiny Panel Minutes

Children and Young People's Learning Scrutiny Panel Minutes

Date:
Wednesday 7 February 2018
Time:
4:00 p.m.
Place:
Spencer Room, Town Hall, Middlesbrough
 

Attendance Details

Present:
Councillor J Blyth, Councillor L McGloin, Councillor M Storey, Councillor Z Uddin, Councillor M Walters, Councillor J Young, Councillor V Walkington (As Substitute for J A Walker), B Carr (Member of Youth Parliament)
Observers:
R Biswas, A Millington, K Peacock
Officers:
B Bradshaw, K Dargue, J McNally
Apologies for absence:
Councillor D Davison, Councillor G Purvis, Councillor J A Walker
Declarations of interest:

There were no Declarations of Interest made by Members at this point of the meeting.

Item Number Item/Resolution
PUBLIC
17/22 MINUTES - CHILDREN AND LEARNING SCRUTINY PANEL 10 JANUARY 2018

The minutes of the Children and Learning Scrutiny Panel held on 10 January 2018 were submitted and approved as a correct record.

17/23 LISTENING TO THE VOICE OF THE CHILD - THE PURPOSE OF THE MEETING IS TO HOLD A ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION WITH BEN CARR THE MEMBER OF YOUTH PARLIAMENT ON THE BENEFITS OF ESTABLISHING A YOUTH COUNCIL IN MIDDLESBROUGH

The purpose of the meeting was for the Scrutiny Panel to hear a presentation from Ben Carr (Member of Youth Parliament) on the benefits of establishing a Youth Council in Middlesbrough.

 

Members were advised that a Local Youth Council was defined by the British Youth Council as a Democratic Organisation that was created, ran and developed by young people for young people.  The Member of Youth Parliament advised that they existed to represent the views of young people at a local level giving young people the opportunity to have a voice, discuss relevant issues, engage with decision-makers and contribute to improving the lives of young people in the community.

 

The Member of Youth Parliament explained that the British Youth Council was the organisation responsible for coordinating and organising national actions and campaigns and regulating Youth Council's across the UK.

 

Members were advised that the Youth Council would cover all young people in Middlesbrough aged between 12-18.

 

The Member of Youth Parliament advised that the Youth Council would be set up in Middlesbrough through a mix of small votes and larger elections.  Each youth group in Middlesbrough would be approached to nominate one representative to stand for the Youth Council.  It was advised that this ensured that children with disabilities, minority groups and 'harder to reach' young people had a voice and ensured that the Youth Council would be fully inclusive.  The Member of Youth Parliament explained that the secondary schools in Middlesbrough would be asked to elect two representatives, through a brief candidate application process followed by a student election. 
 

Members were informed that the aim was to have around 15-25 youth councillors elected to the youth council.  The Youth Council would meet on a monthly basis initially and would be chaired in the interim by the Member of Youth Parliament until the Youth Council was established.

 

Members were advised that the Youth Council would be involved with the regional and national programmes and events that were ran by the British Youth Council.  The Youth Council would feed into the Children’s Trust Board which would provide opportunities to be involved in decision making at a strategic level.

 

The Member of Youth Parliament informed Members of the benefits of a Youth Council in Middlesbrough which included:

  • The Youth Council would help services and Councils with opinions, surveys, information gathering and input with projects
  • The Youth Council would run campaigns and projects and represent changes young people in Middlesbrough want to see.
  • The Youth Council would report back to the young people in Middlesbrough via newsletters sent out to schools, by speaking to young people and social media.
  • The Youth Council would ensure that young people's ideas are valued and turned into action.

Members were informed of the timescale to set up the Youth Council in Middlesbrough.

  • Final planning completed by late February.
  • Brief letters and emails sent out to schools or Member of Youth Parliament attendance at Head Teachers meetings by mid-March.
  • Resources and further information produced and sent out by mid-April.
  • Candidate application processes and youth group selections would start within schools in late April, with a maximum of 6-8 candidates with the small election campaigns to be ran by the candidates finishing mid-late May with a final vote selecting two representatives.
  • The Member of Youth Parliament would contact all candidates by the beginning of June
  • First meeting of the Youth Council would take place mid-late June.

The Chair and Members of the Children and Learning Scrutiny Panel thanked the Member of Youth Parliament for the detailed presentation.

 

A Member raised concerns over the timescales that had been indicated in the presentation and asked how the Member of Youth Parliament intended to contact young people over the summer holidays.  The Member of Youth Parliament stated that by this point the members of the Youth Council will be elected and he would be in contact with them via email and meetings would be set up for during the school holidays for them to meet.  A Member stated that the next academic year would be a more realistic timescale for the establishment of the Youth Council.

 

A Member suggested that the representatives from schools should be gender balanced and it was queried if there would be any other requirements to ensure representation for minority groups for example BME, disabled and children in care.  The Member of Youth Parliament stated that this would be down to each individual school to decide however there would be a possibility to have co-opted members from different groups on the Youth Council.

 

A Member queried how the Youth Council would be funded, the Member of Youth Parliament informed Members that the British Youth Council had been approached for funding but he had not heard anything back from them at present.  It was also advised that the British Youth Council could provide access to resources.  Members recommended that the Youth Council should have its own budget to support campaigns and events.  It was also recommended that support to the Youth Council could be provided through staff resources to support the Member of Youth Parliament and the Youth Council.

 

A Member questioned how and who the Youth Council would report back to following campaigns.  The Member of Youth Parliament stated that feedback could be provided to the Children and Learning Scrutiny Panel, through reports and meetings with the Mayor.  A Member suggested that the Youth Council could attend Full Council meetings to provide feedback on the work being undertaken and that the Youth Council has a standing item on the full Council agenda. 

 

The Voice of the Child Participation Officer and the Head of Partnerships stated that the work of the Youth Council would be extremely beneficial to services as it would feedback into the Children's Trust Board which is a strategic partnership and would also feed into the Children's Strategy.  It was suggested that a member of the Youth Council could become a co-opted member of the Children's Trust Board to ensure that the voice of the child is represented at the Children's Trust Board meetings.

 

Recommendations:

  • The Youth Council is provided with its own budget
  • The Youth Council is invited to attend full Council meetings
  • Updates from the Youth Council to be a standing item on the full Council agenda
  • Youth Council representative to be a co-opted member on the Children's Trust Board
  • Staff resources are provided to support the Youth Council

 

 




 

 


 

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