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 the Chair of Uttlesford Youth Council send correspondence to schools requesting authorised absence for pupils wanting to sit-in on the Local Plan examination.
Members discussed the development of a dedicated app that would be used to canvass the opinion of young people across Uttlesford.
The Community Officer said he had been in discussion with an IT supplier and would circulate the proposals with members. The supplier had said a website would be more cost effective than an app, but could still fulfil the specification the members had provided.
Councillor Balchin said an app would not be worthwhile if it came at great expense.
Members discussed whether the development of the app should be pursued.
RESOLVED to pursue development of an app and to arrange a meeting with the software developer.
Councillor Balchin said the Police working group had yet to meet and it would be worth resetting the membership. He said he intended to pick up this work during the summer break.
The Chair asked for a progress update at the next meeting.
The Chair presented an update in Councillor Widdock’s absence. She said the group were working on an Environment Treaty, which asked schools to make a number of environmentally friendly commitments. Currently, four schools had signed the treaty and a meeting had been scheduled with SWCHS.
Councillor Light said an environment working group was likely to be setup by Full Council and various sub-groups could be established to take on individual projects. She hoped there was scope for engagement with Youth Council members.