Making the voice of youth heard in Warwickshire - The Leamington Observer

Making the voice of youth heard in Warwickshire

Leamington Editorial 6th Apr, 2024   0

YOUNG people from across Warwickshire gathered at Shire Hall in Warwick to meet their new youth councillors.

Elected members from Warwickshire County Council were also there along with Nigel Minns, the council’s executive director for Children and Young People.

The most important role of the Youth Council is to gather the views and understand the needs of young people across Warwickshire.

Thirty new members, aged 11 to 18, will be in office for 24 months.




During their term of office, they will represent the views and interests of young people in their constituency, both locally and nationally, by meeting councillors, MPs and other decision makers to highlight issues of local importance.

Outgoing youth councillor Alice Battersby said: “I’ve been a member of the Warwickshire Youth Council for five years now, since just before the pandemic, and it has helped me to develop my skills enormously. I’ve learnt to communicate better, think more critically, and be more confident when expressing my ideas. It’s also given me access to a range of different experiences and opportunities”


“The youth council isn’t only for its members. It has a wider purpose too to represent the views of all young people in Warwickshire, and, if possible, to improve their lives. It exists to use youth voice to create a better Warwickshire for young people.”

Offering advice to the new members of the council, Alice continued: “Young people need to be represented, and they need to have a voice. For those of you elected today, I’d like you to remember that as well as your own voice, you are also representing the voices of all the approximately one hundred and thirty-one thousand under 18s in Warwickshire.“

Mr Minns said it was vital the views of young people were heard.

He added: “This forum enables them to use their elected voice to bring about social change through meaningful representation and campaigning.”

Voting took place during February via WCC’s Child Friendly website, where they could read the manifestos of each candidate.

This year, 66 young people put themselves forward for nominations, 37 secondary schools participated in the elections, and more than 1,300 votes were counted.

All the young people who took part in the elections will be involved in wider opportunities to be heard and those not elected as councillors will be invited to participate as Friends of the Warwickshire Youth Council.

Visit www.childfriendlywarwickshire.co.uk to find out more about Child Friendly Warwickshire.

 

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