Chippenham Town Council agreed to set up a Youth Council at Full Council on 27 March 2019 as they want to engage with young people in the town and involve them in the democratic process to inform and influence decisions that affect their lives.
A youth council is run by young people for young people so that they can get involved with the Town Council and local community. The youth council will work with the Town Council and other groups such as the Climate Emergency Advisory Group.
The Town Council has researched other youth councils and held a Youth Forum meeting which took place on 3 December 2019. Nineteen young people attended and took part in the workshops coming up with brilliant ideas and shared their opinions. They felt it important to get “youth representation in the Town” and “to allow young people to speak out and engage on things for future generations”.
The feedback from this Youth Forum meeting was very positive, the Town Council opened applications to be on Chippenham Youth Council in December 2019 and closed Monday 20 January 2020.
Chippenham Youth Council will be supported by Chippenham Town Council but will be youth led, you will be able to meet and share ideas with other young people, enhance their communication and leadership skills and work with the community of Chippenham.
29 January 2020:
In January 2020, The Mayor of Chippenham, Leader of the Town Council and Chief Executive of Chippenham Town Council elected 17 members to form Chippenham Youth Council
The first meeting was held 29 January where the discussion involved:
Terms of Reference and Signing of Acceptance of Office:
Elected Declan Kiely as Chairman of Youth Council and Ayla Erencan as Vice Chairman of Youth Council. All Youth Councillors present signed their ‘Acceptance of Office’ and agreed to the Terms of Reference
About Chippenham Town Council:
Chippenham Town Council’s Democratic Services Manager explained and gave an overview of what Chippenham Town Council do, including the vision and goals (as part of the Corporate Strategic Plan) to help Youth Councillors think about the wider picture.
Area Board Event:
The Chippenham Community Manager of Wiltshire Council explained details of the Area Board Meeting on Climate, which is held on 3 February. All Youth Councillors were invited to attend.
Future Agenda Items:
Youth Councillors addressed their potential future agenda items including climate, litter, social clubs, dyslexia awareness month, homelessness and mental health services. These items will be picked up at future meetings.
26 February 2020:
Youth Council met on Wednesday 26 February and the discussion involved:
The report looked at whether Youth Council should have 2 members of Full Council representing them in wider discussions. It was agreed to ask for 2 council representatives.
How to promote the Youth Council and how to gather opinions from young people in the Town. Some of the suggestions included school assemblies, surveys and social media to target peers of the same/similar age group.
With the rising number of homeless within and surrounding Chippenham the discussion included how Youth Council could help and assist with this ongoing challenge. It was agreed that this discussion will be continued into future meetings and community groups, organisations and charities such as Doorway and Unity House will be invited in to share the work they do for our community.
A report considering what the Youth Council can do to help young people become more confident and social, through clubs was discussed. It was identified the Youth Council want to advertise existing free social clubs in the town and think about what they can do to enhance this.
Chippenham Town Council are currently recruiting for an Aboricultural Officer (Tree Officer) who will assess all the trees on Council land and create a management plan to ensure they are being looked after. Youth Council discussed their views and opinions on such a role and fed comments back to Town Councillors.
Chippenham Area Board Meeting: Climate Theme
As discussed in the previous meeting, the opportunity for Youth Councillors to attend Chippenham Area Board was accepted by several Youth Councillors. Youth Council received feedback from fellow Councillors who attended the climate themed Area Board event that took place on 03 February 2020. Some items raised and discussed at January’s meeting included single use plastic, litter and its impact on wildlife. This will be picked up at the next meeting.
Youth Council were given the opportunity and agreed to attend future Council events:
Wednesday 25 March – Full Council Meeting, to present the Youth Council’s work so far
Wednesday 29 April – Town Meeting, to have a stand and to present the Youth Council’s work
Saturday 18 July – Purple Flag Assessment Event, to have a stand and talk to people about the Youth Council
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