Dumfries and Galloway Council held the third annual joint meeting with Dumfries and Galloway Youth Council on Thursday 3rd November at The Bridge in Dumfries.
The meeting brought together elected members, elected youth councilors and members of the Scottish Youth Parliament from all communities in the region to develop actions that will improve opportunities for young people.
Members were divided into three thematic groups around the main service committees of the Council:
• Economy and resources
• Education, skills and learning
A total of eight actions were proposed and endorsed by the two organizations and a progress report on these will be presented to the Plenary Council in 2023. The agreed actions were:
1. Automatic registration for young people to receive their free bus pass under 22 in schools (with parental or guardian authorization)
2. Create a discovery card for young people aged 12 to 18 giving them free access to 6 or 12 free leisure sessions per year (gym, swimming, skateboarding, coaching, etc.).
3. Pilot a nightly opening of library facilities for students preparing for exams between March and June 2023. If successful, consider extending it year-round.
1. A campaign aimed at under 16s about their employment rights and what they can expect from a workplace.
2. Wi-fi being available in all Council facilities, including town halls, libraries and public offices.
3. Create dedicated youth spaces in existing Council buildings in Stewartry and Mid and Upper Nithsdale.
1. School staff should undertake the SAMH “We All Have Mental Health: An Introduction for Teacher Education”.
2. Review all secondary schools to remove accessibility barriers that exist for students in wheelchairs or on crutches where student access to common areas and upper floors is limited. It was agreed to include all schools in the review, as opposed to the limited number highlighted in the discussion.
As well as creating a joint action plan, the meeting also included a presentation by the Dumfries and Galloway Youth Council on the work undertaken since their election in November 2021, and the agreement of the new engagement and participation strategy. youth engagement of Dumfries and Galloway Council. The strategy outlines a clear approach to youth democracy in Dumfries and Galloway and includes renewed commitments to existing structures that support young people to speak out through the Youth Council and Council of Champions project.
Speaking about the meeting, Cllr Stephen Thompson and Cllr Linda Dorward, co-leaders of Dumfries and Galloway Council, said:
“We are delighted with the outcome of this year’s joint meeting which marks the first time that new Council and Youth Council members have met since their election in November 2021 and May 2022 respectively. At Dumfries and Galloway, we are committed to listening and talking with our young people, and acting on those views wherever possible. »
Dumfries & Galloway Youth Council Chairman and Deputy Chairman Elli Wadsworth and Cameron Greer added:
“The joint meeting was a productive and positive space for elected members and Youth Council members to discuss things that impact young people in Dumfries & Galloway, from wi-fi in Council buildings to training available for staff in schools and young people’s access to community facilities – there was a wide range of issues considered and solutions identified.
The audio recording of the meeting has been uploaded to the Dumfries and Galloway Councils YouTube page and a record of the meeting is available on the Councils website.
For more information on the Youth Council, you can email [email protected] or search for us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @YouthCouncilDG