Stockton Youth Assembly Minutes

Tuesday, 17th May, 2016
Community Zone, North Shore Academy, Talbot Street, Stockton-on-Tees
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Cllr Mrs McCoy (In the Chair); Cllr Cook, Viven Alwis, Beth Gibson, Jack Gibson,
Eve Connor-McGill, Gemma Mann (Childrens Services); Gareth Carson, Ryan Oliphant, Shirley Stenburge (Youth Direction); Nigel Hart, Stuart Levin (Democratic Services).
Apologies for absence:
Kushan Bhardwi, Jess Hugill, Bailey Shaw, Cllr Povey.
Item Description Decision
AGREED that the minutes of the meeting held on 15th March 2016 be agreed as a true record.
AGREED that:-

1. Progress made regarding the #Answer Alex campaign be noted.

2. A sub group consisting of GC, BG, JG & VA, and the YMP if available, get together before the next meeting of the SYA to come up with an appropriate first question for the campaign and report this back to the next meeting of the SYA.

3. Copies of all questions featured in the #Answer Alex campaign, and a summary of the responses received, be regularly reported to the SYA.

4. The sub group be also invited to consider the suggestions put forward to make the draft promotional literature more eye catching and appropriate for its audience, incorporating the inclusion of the Council's logo, and consider further the merits of inclusion of the # symbol within the campaign.
AGREED that the SYA views on how best to communicate with young people about the risks of substance misuse of alcohol and drugs, be noted and be written up for sharing with the SYA.
AGREED that:-

1. The feedback from the Annual Conversation 2015 be noted.

2. Concerns regarding the use of supply teachers be forwarded on to the Assistant Director of Schools and SEN along with an invitation for a response to be provided to a future meeting of the SYA.

3. The poor representation by schools at the event be noted along with the suggestion that consideration be given to offering them an incentive or some form of other encouragement to take part in such events and be a 'voice for their community'.
AGREED that the content of the Borough's first Youth Manifesto be noted.
AGREED that the update be noted.
AGREED that the information be noted.
AGREED that the Plan be noted.


There were no Declarations of Interest made.
Members considered the minutes of the meeting held on 15th March 2016.
The SYA received an update on how the #Answer Alex campaign was progressing.

Advice had been taken from colleagues in the Council's Legal Department to ensure that the approach and type of questions asked were appropriate and took into account parental responsibility to provide consent should any personal data be sought.

GC advised that there was no personal data to be sought from children and that:-

-the questions to be posed related to issues of service delivery only;
-there was no intention to verify the data received - which would have resulted in the need to collect Personal Data; i.e. name, age, address of child etc.);
-it was accepted that the use of social media to consult children may effectively limit the age range of the consultees as age restrictions applied on some social media sites; eg Facebook 13 years and over.

RO reported that the link to #Answer Alex would be on the SYA Facebook page and the outcome of consultations would be shared with Council officers responsible for developing consultation tools with the public as a whole. Service Groups within the Council would be encouraged to identify questions they would wish to consult young people on via the #Answer Alex tool.

To launch the campaign, it was suggested that it would be appropriate for members of the SYA to come up with the first question to be asked. GC, BG, JG & VA agreed that they would get together before the next meeting of the SYA (with the YMP if possible) to come up with an appropriate question and would report this back to the next meeting of the SYA.

AM requested that copies of all questions featured in the #Answer Alex campaign, and a summary of the responses received, be regularly reported to the SYA.

Members of the SYA considered a draft promotional poster to accompany the launch of the campaign. Suggestions were made to make it more eye catching and appropriate for its audience, including the addition of the Council's logo so that it was recognised as an official means of consultation endorsed by the Council. The merits of inclusion of the # symbol were also debated and would be discussed further when the sub group met to discuss a potential first question. It was suggested that an article should be placed in Stockton News to mark the launch of the campaign.

Further to the last meeting when the SYA were asked to complete a questionnaire about how much they knew about the Stockton on Tees Young People and Adult Alcohol Recovery Service, Eve Connor-McGill and Gemma Mann were in attendance at the meeting to explain how the service was delivered and to specifically ask the SYA how best to communicate with young people about the risks of substance misuse of alcohol and drugs.

It was noted that the service had an appropriate budget to promote awareness amongst young people and wished to make the information relevant to young people's needs and delivered in a way that was appropriate.

Members of the SYA worked within a workshop session with Eve and Jemma to produce a mind map that asked:-

-what are the risks of alcohol/substance misuse?
-what stops people asking for advice about the dangers of alcohol/substance misuse?
-who are the best people to ask for advice about the dangers of this misuse?
-what should young people be told about the risks associated with alcohol/substance misuse?

The results of the workshop session would be written up after the meeting and shared with the SYA at a future date.
The SYA received a report summarising discussions that took place at the Annual Conversation event held in December 2015, which was attended by approximately 50 young people, as well as the Cabinet Member for Childrens Services, relevant Chief Officers from the Council and representatives from Cleveland Police, Catalyst, North Tees and Hartlepool Foundation Trust.

The discussions focused on the following :-

-Abuse Victims and Witness, Peer Pressure, Safe and Feel Safe;

-Substance Misuse, Sex Education, Healthier Lives;

-Relationships, Isolation, Disconnection, Sense of Community;

Life Skills, Adulthood;

Emotional Performance, LAC Outcomes.

The views/comments of the young people present reproduced in the Appendix to the report.

Cllr Mrs McCoy advised that among the concerns expressed by the young people in attendance was the disruption caused to lessons as a result of the need to use supply teachers on occasions. SYA members spoke of the use of supply teachers within their own schools, with one advising that they had had a supply teacher for an entire year. It was highlighted that it was a topical issue at present as many young people suffered stress at exam time, some of which was suggested was due to concern over the use of supply teachers and whether they had sufficiently covered the syllabus.

Cllr Mrs McCoy suggested that these concerns be forward to relevant officers at the Council and that they be invited to attend a future meeting of the SYA to explain issues such as the reasons why supply teachers have to be used; how long it was recommended that they be in place; the brief they were given in terms of the educational/curriculum needs of the classes they were covering; the experience/suitability of the supply teachers; and the process by which they were selected. If considered appropriate, a representative from one of the agencies providing supply teachers could also be invited.

Generally it was noted as disappointing that more schools were not in attendance at the event, despite invitations having gone out to all schools and their Governing Bodies.

Beth commented that schools involvement may be encouraged if they were given some recognition or incentive to participate; for example at School Community Award. Community involvement by schools was also considered to be a very important issue for people such as Ofsted. This suggestion would also be passed on to relevant officers in the Council.
The SYA noted the content of the Borough's first Youth Manifesto, which members of the SYA along with other young people, Cabinet and Council Members and officers had developed in partnership.

Topics included within the Manifesto had come from:-

- Discussions that had taken place at the second ‘Borough-wide Debate’

- the influence of voting in the national ‘Make your mark’ campaign organised by the UK YP to find out which issues matter most to young people aged 11-18 years old.

- the ‘Annual Conversation’ which provided young people with an opportunity to identify priority health issues and improvements.

- SYA meetings where members have considered a number of matters affecting young people providing the Council, service providers and decision-makers with a youth perspective when planning and developing services ;

- the work of the SYA to ensure that there are as many ways as possible for young people to be able to makes their views known. The most recent one is through the use of social media using “#Alex” on Twitter and Facebook.

Development of the Manifesto was also one of the first priorities of Jess (Youth MP) and the Leader of the Council. It was believed that very few other Boroughs had set out their priorities for young people in such a way and it was hoped that it would encourage other young people to 'have their voice heard'.

Arrangements for the staging of a cultural event supporting the BYC's ‘Don’t hate. Educate’ campaign were progressing with a very varied programme including Bollywood Dancing, African, Dohl and Samba drumming, Arts/Crafts, Henna Hand painting etc.

The event was to be held at the ARC on 21st July from 12 noon - 6pm and it was hoped that members of the SYA would come along to support the event.
A report was presented that summarised the various activities members of the SYA had undertaken since the previous meeting which included the British Youth Council (BYC) leadership development training residential hosted in Doncaster on 8TH-10TH April with 6 members of the SYA attending. The event had large amounts of young people from across the country attending with a full training programme on offer tailored towards youth councillors and Members / Deputy Members of the Youth Parliament (MYP/DMYP.

The event included learning about campaigning, developing relationships with key people, listening and communication skills. The Youth Voice Wheel was introduced from the pilot done last year and all SYA members were encouraged to complete it with assistance from Shirley.

It was noted that Beth Gibson had received her Youth Voice Award recognising her achievements for Working with others, improving own learning and performance, and problem solving.

The POSBO event had been held at the Youthy Thornaby which celebrated positive social behaviour and achievement. Kushan Bhardwaj received an award for his role as DMYP and for his work with young people on Have your say delivered in St Patrick’s School. Jess Hugill was one of the speakers at the event.
The Forward Plan was noted.

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