Windsor & Maidenhead Youth Council to be formed

A COUNCIL “led by young people for young people” will soon be set up in the Royal district to give them a “voice” in local decision-making.

Senior advisers unanimously agreed at a cabinet meeting on Thursday, February 25, the first steps in setting up a youth council to “empower and encourage” 14-19 year olds.

If implemented, the youth council will help counselors and officers shape and influence future policies and decisions that could impact their lives and outcomes.

The Royal Borough currently does not have a Youth Council, but rather groups run by the Youth Service including the Girls Policy Forum, Youth Ambassadors etc.

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“We are the future of the borough after all”

Introducing the report, Councilor Stuart Carroll (Con: Boyn Hill), a senior member of Adult Social Services, Children’s Services, Health and Mental Health, said it would give young people the opportunity to ” learn new skills, build self-confidence and work as a team. .

Cllr Carroll said there were only positives to this proposal, as better youth engagement would benefit not only the local community, but local democracy as well.

He added that young people want to see the board on issues such as climate change, the environment and mental health, and want to bring ideas and innovations to the table to help address these challenges.

In a letter from two youth ambassadors, which was read by Cllr Carroll, they said: “A youth council will make us feel that our voices have been heard and listened to and that our opinions really matter.

“We want to influence the decision-making process rather than having decisions made for us. We are the future of the borough after all.

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Cllr Amy Tisi (Lib Dem: Clewer East) said: “I think there is a misconception that young people are not interested in politics.

“Maybe they don’t care about party politics or our political system – but I think if we look at the emergency climate change movement, the European movement, all these things, young people are at the heart of it all and it’s really, really important, we encourage that.

A working group will be set up to establish a framework and governance on youth council participation.

This will then be brought back to cabinet in April for the last word and, if passed, the youth council could hold its first meeting in September.