Young people from all over the county have joined together for the first ever Wiltshire Youth Council conference.
Forty one candidates have been appointed from 21 schools to ensure young people’s voice is heard in all decision making across the county.
Cabinet members met with candidates and congratulated them on their appointments and gave insights into their own areas before young people were voted into roles and taking up responsibilities.
Wiltshire Youth Councillors will:
- Meet up with Wiltshire Council leaders and have their say on local decisions.
- Work with area boards to ensure funding for youth projects has the right impact for them and their peers.
- Review services to ensure they represent young people’s best interests.
- Communicate with their peers so young people’s views are properly represented.
- Have the opportunity to shadow council leaders as a shadow youth cabinet member for a particular area of interest.
Youth councillors will be asked to commit one evening per month to attend a full youth council meeting, which will focus on issues important to the young people. The role will also require them to talk to their peers about the issues and represent their views. There will be training to support them in their roles, covering topics including debating, running a youth review/inspection and delivering presentations.
Wiltshire Youth Council has also recruited Special Advisors, these are young people that ensure that the views of the underrepresented are heard. There will be Special Advisors that champion different areas such as young carers, children in care, LGBTQ+ young people and military families.
Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of Wiltshire Council said: “This was a great opportunity to meet our new youth councillors and along with my cabinet members I look forward to working with them in the future. These young people will be an important part of our decision making. These young people are our future and we need to ensure we listen to their views as the decisions we make today will affect everyone’s future tomorrow.”
Wiltshire Youth Councillor Zara, aged 13, said: “I really like the idea of politics and I thought that this is an opportunity for young people to look at what the council does and participate, making sure it works for Wiltshire but also for young people too.”
Wiltshire Youth Councillor Aayan, aged 15, said: “My main issue was I found young people didn’t have a voice in politics and the decisions being made about them. My main focus will be on mental health issues and the impact these issues have on our generation.”
You can also follow the child and youth voice team on Facebook (6) Wiltshire Youth Union | Facebook and Instagram Wiltshire Youth Union (@wiltshireyouthunion) • Instagram photos and videos.