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Apologies were received from Councillor Wolter. Councillor J Reid acted as Chairman in her absence.
Elections and Recruitment Working Group
Councillor Birkbeck provided an update on the work of the Elections and Recruitment working group, which had met a number of times since the last Youth Council meeting. The working group had drafted guidelines for schools who wanted to hold elections and this document was tabled for Members’ consideration.
The Youth Council discussed the election guidelines and there was agreement that if the draft was to be distributed to schools, a change to the Youth Council constitution would be required.
The Community Officer said the Young Essex Assembly (YEA) could possibly help in the task of running elections, and their advice could be sought when the Youth Council held its training and YEA induction session. He said the proposal would require a change to the constitution and advised councillors to seek legal guidance before confirming the amendment.
AGREED to seek the legal advice of the Assistant Director – Governance and Legal Services on the constitutional change to the elections procedure.
As well as drafting guidelines, the Elections and Recruitment working group had produced an ‘Elections pack’ that could be distributed to schools. The pack would contain election aids, such as guidance, posters and communication materials, which would help student bodies hold elections in their respective schools.
Charles Yallup, a former Member of the Youth Council who had been assisting the Elections Working Group, presented an election poster he had designed, and asked for comments.
The Youth Council discussed the design and there was general agreement that the poster was effective. Members agreed that communication materials needed to be bold and forceful, to ensure young people were engaging with the Youth Council.
The Community Officer said there was still a budget available to the Youth Council, and printing posters and communication materials would be an appropriate outlay.
Structure and Procedures
The Community Officer said there needed to be more correspondence between Youth Councillors and himself in between meetings, to ensure that agenda production was driven by the Youth Council. He said Councillor Wolter had come in to help prepare the current agenda, but the responsibility should be shared by as many Youth Councillors as possible, to reduce the burden on the Chairman. He added that communication needed to be improved even on subjects such as transport to and from meetings, as taxis were available if Councillors requested them.
Proposed Training Day and Planning Seminar
The Community Officer said the YEA training and planning seminar still needed to be scheduled.
District Councillor Fairhurst said he would be available to help present the planning seminar. He said Nigel Brown, the Development Manager at the Council, would also be invited.
Members discussed the topic of planning and agreed it was one of the most important issues facing the District.
The Community Officer said he would circulate a link to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to Youth Councillors.
Members discussed when the seminar could take place.
AGREED to hold the planning seminar at 4.00pm on 30 May, 2018.
Discussion on Working Groups
Members discussed the following:
Members accepted the invitation of District Councillor Fairhurst, who had offered to take members of the Communications working group to see a journalist at the Saffron Walden Reporter.
The Community Officer said he could arrange a meeting with the Council’s Communities team, who were working with mental health organisations that went into schools to educate pupils on the issue of mental health. He said the Communities team would be keen to hear the views of the Youth Council and there was an opportunity to have a real input on policy in this area.
Councillor Whittle said the Community Officer should contact the Child Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), which specialised in young people’s mental health.
District Councillor Gerard said the Scrutiny Committee had recently discussed the issue of recycling and the views of the Youth Council were welcomed. He said a trip to the District’s recycling facility was also a possibility.
The Youth Council discussed plastics, and the broader subject of recycling. Litter picks, recycling schemes and requesting retailers to ditch plastics were all mentioned.
Members agreed to put plastics, and the proposition of a dedicated working group, on the next agenda.
Date of Next Meeting
The date of the next meeting was agreed as 4 July at 5.30pm.
The meeting ended at 7.30pm.