Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 19th May 2016
Title of Item/Report
Youth Manifesto for the Borough
Record of the Decision
Consideration was given to a report that updated Cabinet on the progress that had been made to increase the participation of the Borough's young people in influencing and shaping services which affected their day to day lives; and to enhance this further through Cabinet approval and support for the priorities identified in the borough's first Youth Manifesto which had been provided.

Cabinet, at its meeting held on 6th September 2012, reviewed its arrangements for listening to the voices of local young people and engaging them as partners in decision making, and agreed to:-

● establish a more representative and democratically appointed Youth Assembly;

● formally organise and structure the election process for the Borough's next Member of the Youth Parliament (MYP);

Since then, Stockton had continued its journey of identifying various strengths and areas for development in youth participation which resulted in the re-launch of Stockton Youth Assembly with members drawn from a much wider cross section of the borough and involved over 9,000 young people in the election to decide who would represent them in the UK Youth Parliament.

Each SYA cycle ran parallel to the term of office for the borough's representative in the UK Youth Parliament. The MYP was Jess Hugill, a student at Conyers Sixth Form. She was elected in February 2015 and her tenure was due to end with the next MYP election in February 2017. Similarly, the SYA term of office ran until February 2017.

Over the last year, young people from all over the Borough had been encouraged to get their voices heard through a variety of events and activities including:

• The second ‘Borough-wide Debate' - young people were given the opportunity to discuss with CMT, Senior Officers, Cabinet and Chairs of Scrutiny Committees issues identified as priority areas affecting young people. The feedback was used as the basis of the SYA's ‘Forward Plan' (i.e. a list of topics for us to focus on during this SYA term) and was represented in the manifesto.

• voting in the national ‘Make your mark' campaign - annual campaign organised by the UK YP to find out which issues matter most to young people aged 11-18 years old. The SYA collected a massive 7,059 votes from local young people in 16 schools/academies/colleges and 23 youth clubs. As a result the top national and local priorities were identified.

• the ‘Annual Conversation' - The Council's Children and Young People's Partnership organised this event to provide young people with an opportunity to identify priority health issues and the improvements we would like to see. Around 50 young people attended alongside the relevant Cabinet Member, the Corporate Director for Children's Services, officers and health professionals. Two further sessions were planned for the Autumn of this year;

• SYA meetings - members consider a number of matters affecting young people (outlined in the SYA Forward Plan) and provide the Council, service providers and decision-makers with a youth perspective when planning and developing services ;

• Stockton Youth Assembly was working with the Council to ensure that there were as many ways as possible for young people to be able to makes their views known. The most recent one was through the use of social media using "#Alex" on Twitter and Facebook.

The feedback and information from each of the above meetings, events and activities had been used to identify the priorities in the attached manifesto which had been produced in order to continue our journey, built on the progress that had already been made. The manifesto documents the consultation journey with the borough's young people and the resulting priorities for positive change that had been identified through it.

To transform these priorities from aspirations into reality would require the ongoing combined efforts and commitment of politicians, decision makers and service providers, as well as the young people themselves

Cabinet was asked to acknowledge the Council's progress in transforming its arrangements for listening to the voices of local young people and engaging them as partners in decision making.

Cabinet was also asked to support further progress, specifically during the SYA cycle (i.e. up to February 2017), by encouraging each Directorate to consider which of the Youth Manifesto priorities (if any) they could contribute to achieving; and where relevant, arrange to be added to the Forward Plan of Stockton Youth Assembly (SYA) to involve them in addressing the priority/ies.

RESOLVED that:-

1. The content of the report and the draft Youth Manifesto (Appendix 1) be noted.

2. The draft Youth Manifesto to be the final version for 2016/17 be agreed.

3. The formal publication and distribution of the Youth Manifesto across Council services, partner organisations and the community be agreed.

4. Each Directorate be authorised to consider the priorities in the Youth Manifesto:

i) in order to identify which ones (if any) they can contribute to achieving; and

ii) and where relevant, arrange for an appropriate item to be added to the Forward Plan of Stockton Youth Assembly (SYA) so that the Assembly can be advised at some future point as to how each of the priorities in the Manifesto are to be addressed.
Reasons for the Decision
Cabinet was asked to makes these recommendations so that the Council can continue its progress in transforming the arrangements for listening to the voices of local young people and engaging them as partners in decision making - empowering them to express their views and ideas to senior Members, officers and service providers; and be directly involved in bringing positive change in the issues which matter most to them.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
None
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
None
Details of any Dispensations
N/A
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Midnight, 27th May 2016
Attachment

Date of Publication: 23 May 2016


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