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Apologies for absence and declarations of interest
To receive any apologies and declarations of interest.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Dean and Fairhurst.
To consider the minutes of the previous meeting.
The minutes of the meeting held on 23 May 2017 were received and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
To consider the draft Youth Constitution for recommendation to Full Council 10 October.
The Working Group discussed the draft Youth Constitution, which had been put before Members for comment before recommendation to Full Council. The amended document has been appended to the Minutes.
The Community Officer asked if the eligibility criteria should be extended to 13-19 year olds who worked in the District. The Democratic and Electoral Services manager said this would be in line with Full Council policy and Members agreed to approve the amendment.
Members discussed the number of seats on the Youth Council and the equation on which these were allocated. Councillor Light asked if the number of students attending Felsted School had been verified. The Community Officer said he was having difficulty contacting the school and was still waiting on a response to his enquiry. The Youth Councillor said he had found an estimated figure of 1000 but he would attempt to reach out to the school in the remaining time he had left on the Youth Council.
The Community Officer said the requirement that elections take place on a Thursday in October or November would be inflexible and cause practical problems. The Youth Councillor said the stipulation of a set election period provided a clear timeframe which would help schools plan for the elections. He added that the Youth Council would be in dialogue with schools to minimise disruption. The Democratic and Electoral Services Manager said a two week period should be specified and Members agreed as this gave a set period which provided certainty but allowed schools a degree of flexibility.
Members discussed the voting eligibility for the Youth Council. The Community Officer said that whilst candidates were required to be 13 years or older, he could see no good reason why all secondary school children could not vote from a constitutional perspective. The Youth Councillor agreed as it reinforced the inclusive spirit of the Youth Council and its Constitution.
The Democratic and Electoral Services Manager said the Youth Council would be a semi-official body of Uttlesford District Council and careful consideration needed to be given to the publishing of meeting documents and the publicising of meetings. He asked specifically if parental consent would be required from the Youth Members. The Community Officer said a system could be put in place where consent forms were distributed to all Youth Members at the beginning of the Council term, to ensure all statutory requirements were fulfilled. The Assistant Director – Corporate Services said the Audit Manager would be able to provide the necessary forms.
In response to a question from the Democratic and Electoral Services Manager, the Community Officer said the Youth Council would be incorporated in to CMIS, the Council’s Meeting Management system, but only in terms of Full Youth Council meetings. To date, the Working Groups had been run by the Youth Members with no input from Officers and they would continue to do so.
Councillor Light asked why items for an agenda had to be approved by the Chairman. The Youth ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
Any other items which the Chairman considers to be urgent
To receive any items that the Chairman considers to be urgent
The Chairman thanked everyone involved in the Youth Council for all of their hard work. He thanked the Community Officer in particular for his invaluable input and praised the Youth Members for their dedication and commitment. The Youth Council had been a great success and he was proud of the young people for their achievement.
Going forward, the Working Group would direct its attention to wider public engagement and the Assistant Director – Corporate Services was welcomed as the new lead officer. Whilst the Working Group would not be focused on Youth Engagement, he hoped that collaboration with the Youth Council would continue.
The Assistant Director – Corporate Services said Terms of Reference would need to be established for the Public Engagement Working Group and he had arranged a meeting with the Chairman and Councillor Light to discuss this. Although there would be a hiatus before the next meeting, he hoped one could be scheduled before Christmas.
The meeting ended at 08:15pm.