New Youth Council to be 'the voice of young people' in Windsor and Maidenhead

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

adrianw@baylismedia.co.uk

A new Youth Council met for the first time at the Town Hall on Monday evening – electing 17-year-old Robert Jansen-Spence as its first chairperson.

More than 30 young people applied to be representatives of the dedicated forum supporting young people to play an active role in informing local decisions.

The youth council is to be the first port of call for councillors and local businesses wanting to hear the voice of local young people.

Youth councillors will also have the opportunity to discuss and address important issues that matter to young residents and affect their lives, as well as work on positive projects and campaigns.

After some initial informal sessions this summer, the Youth Council held its first proper meeting in the council chamber on September 20 to elect its chairperson, discuss its new constitution and agree a letter to schools that are not represented currently on the Youth Council.

Chairperson Robert Jansen-Spence, of The Windsor Boys’ School, said: “It’s a real honour to be elected as the first chairperson.

“We had a fantastic first meeting as a Youth Council and it has been really exciting to meet with the others in the council chamber and make a start.

“Young people are really interested in what happens in our community.

“The Youth Council will give us a stronger voice and enable us to get more involved in decisions that will affect us and champion issues we care about. We already have a number of ideas we’re looking at.

“We are still open to welcoming new members from schools and young groups across the borough, so if you’re aged between 14 and 19 and either live, or go to school, within the borough, then please apply through the website.”

Councillor Andrew Johnson, leader of the Royal Borough council and Cllr Stuart Carroll, cabinet member for children’s services, attended the meeting to observe the discussion.

Councillor Carroll said: “The formation of the Youth Council is a big moment and it’s clear from the number of applications and quality of discussion that we have some really engaged young people across the Royal Borough, who want to make a positive difference in their communities.

“As a Cabinet, we’re frequently making decisions that affect the future, either in the shorter or longer terms, and so we’re naturally keen to hear the thoughts of our young residents about their experiences and perspectives.”

Youth Councillors are asked to commit to serving a minimum of one year and participate in at least two meetings per month. For more information and the application form, visit tinyurl.com/txky7ejy

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