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Apologies for Absence and Declarations of Interest
To receive any apologies and declarations of interest.
Apologies were received from Youth Councillors Brown, Perry, Reid and Widdock.
To consider the minutes of the previous meeting.
The minutes of the meetings held on 26 March 2019 were agreed as a true and correct record.
Election of the Chair and Vice Chair
To elect a Chair and a Vice Chair.
Members considered the nominations of Councillor M Wolter for the position of Chair of the Youth Council, and Councillor Birkbeck for the position of Vice-Chair.
No further nominations were received.
RESOLVED to appoint Councillor M Wolter as Chair and Councillor Birkbeck Vice-Chair of the Youth Council.
Working Group Feedback
To consider feedback from the Youth Council’s working groups.
Councillor Ataparmakova updated the Youth Council on the proposed changes to the Constitution. She said the next step was to have the amendments reviewed by the Assistant Director – Governance and Legal Services to ensure the changes were in line with Full Council’s constitution.
Councillor F Wolter said the Mental Health theatre group project, in which youth councillors had contracted a professional theatre group to deliver mental health workshops in primary schools across the district, was progressing well and the working group would be meeting with Hybrid Fusion in the coming weeks to finalise the plan. She said the Youth Council had been presented with two options in terms of how the workshops would be staffed. The first was to employ professional actors to carry out the workshops, but this was dependent on the amount of funding available; the second option was to have young people trained by Hybrid Fusion and to staff the workshop themselves. This would be more cost effective.
Councillor Fairhurst said it would be worth exploring a combined approach in which the workshops were delivered by both professionals and young people.
The Community Officer said it would be a good idea to investigate whether a mental health workshop could be staged at Crucial Crew next year. This would give the project increased exposure at reduced costs. He said he would speak to the organisers to facilitate a meeting.
Members were informed of the work of the Communications working group, who had recently setup Twitter and Instagram feeds, with the aim of promoting the Youth Council. An article was to be written by Councillor Brown on the environment and the Chair requested that a meeting between the Environment and Communication working groups be scheduled to allow for a collective approach.
In response to a question from Councillor Birkbeck regarding a Youth Council ‘induction leaflet’, the Community Officer said he would facilitate a meeting with a local printing company.
Members discussed whether it would be appropriate to send a letter to every household in the district requesting young people to come forward and express interest in representing the youth of Uttlesford on the proposed Garden Community Forums.
Councillor Balchin said this method would be expensive; he asked why the Youth Council could not be promoted in schools.
Councillor Birkbeck said the Youth Council had previously focused on schools but had achieved little success. He said if the message came from District councillors, there was more chance of a high response rate.
Members discussed the possibility of allocating district councillors to schools.
RESOLVED to request Full Council to explore the potential of allocating district councillors to schools across Uttlesford.
Councillor Fairhurst said the examination of the Local Plan was currently underway and would be held in the Council Chamber next week. He said it would be of great educational value if members could attend.
The Chair said she could write to schools requesting authorised absence for those members who wished to attend.
RESOLVED that ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
Notice of Motion received from Councillor Birkbeck - Requests to Full Council
The Youth Council has made good progress on highlighting issues of importance to young people in the district including housing, local development, mental health and the environment but it is in need of additional support, integration and resources if its work is to continue.
The Youth Council formally requests that Full Council review the following:
iii) Formal approval of the updated Youth Council Constitution. To submit the latest version of the Youth Council’s Constitution to the Assistant Director – Legal and Governance Services for review and guidance, with the intention of bringing a final version to Full Council for approval on 30 July.
The Chair moved item 10 forward in proceedings.
Councillor Birkbeck presented his three motions to members. The first proposed integration with Full Council, including cooperating on shared Working Group interests and a permanent seat at Council meetings. Members discussed the proposal and there was agreement that this would be a positive development for the Youth Council.
RESOLVED to request the Portfolio Holder of Youth Services to request Council to review the Youth Council’s integration with Full Council
The second proposal requested greater access to officer resources for the Youth Council. There was unanimous agreement that this was required if the work of the Youth Council was to continue.
RESOLVED to request Full Council review officer provision for the Youth Council.
The third motion requested the Assistant Director – Legal and Governance to review the amended Constitution. Members discussed whether it would be appropriate to send the Constitution to the next Full Council meeting for approval, or if it should be deferred to allow further changes to be adopted.
RESOLVED to request the Assistant Director – Governance and Legal to review the Youth Council’s Constitution before sending to Full Council for approval.
Public Speaking Training
To consider the item on public speaking training,
Members discussed the proposal to provide professional public speaking training for members of the Youth Council.
RESOLVED to request the Community Officer to explore the potential for public speaking training
Parish Council Representation
To consider the item on parish council representation.
Members discussed the proposal to have a youth seat on parish councils in the district.
Councillor Birkbeck said this would be problematic, as the Youth Council could not place a member in each parish. It would also have implications for the Constitution.
Councillor Ataparmakova said it would be a good opportunity for young people to have a say at local level and those that sat on the parish councils did not necessarily have to be members of the Youth Council. She agreed it would have an impact on the Constitution and requested a delay to its verification at Full Council.
Councillor Birkbeck asked Councillor Fairhurst to setup a meeting between the Cabinet Member for Communities and the Constitution Working Group to explore integration of the YC with parish councils.
Any Other Business
To receive any other business.
Councillor Light said a Libraries Working Group was to be established and she wanted input from Youth Councillors. Members discussed the idea and agreed that a Youth Council Libraries Working Group should also be setup to allow engagement with Full Council’s equivalent WG.
RESOLVED to establish a Libraries Working Group with Councillor F Wolter as Chair.
Councillor Birkbeck said in his role as Vice-Chair he wanted to hold a regular meeting with the Chairs of working groups to coordinate their activity and workload. He said he would contact WG Chairs after the meeting.
The Chair said she had been in correspondence with Kemi Badenoch MP and would be drafting a formal letter inviting her to the next Youth Council meeting to discuss environmental issues.
Notice of Motion received from Councillor Birkbeck - Invitation of district councillors to meetings of the Youth Council
The Youth Council welcomes a closer relationship with Full Council and is resolved that:
A standing invitation to Youth Council meetings be extended to the elected body of Uttlesford District Council, such that any District Councillor would be welcome to attend and observe a Youth Council meeting with the capacity to speak if called on by the Chair, or if itemised on the agenda beforehand. The Youth Council encourages representatives from all parties to attend.
Members discussed the proposal that established a standing invitation to Councillors to Youth Council meetings. There was unanimous agreement that councillor attendance was welcomed and beneficial to the Youth Council’s work.
A standing invitation to Youth Council meetings be extended to the elected body of Uttlesford District Council, such that any District Councillor would be welcome to attend and observe a Youth Council meeting with the capacity to speak if called on by the Chair, or if itemised on the agenda beforehand. The Youth Council would encourage representatives from all parties to attend.