Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Stockton Youth Assembly Minutes

Tuesday, 15th July, 2014
Community Zone, North Shore Academy, Talbot Street, Stockton-on-Tees
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Jessica Belch (Chair), Cllr Mrs Ann McCoy, Angelica Andrejczyk, Sarah Hurst, Ethan Jackson-McGlade, Imogen Kench, Chloe Milion, Kathryn Wake
Andrew Mearns (Resources), Kevin Scott (Pears Digital), Claire Sills (DNS), Karen Merrick, Shirley Stenburge, Julie Thornton (CESC), Graham Birtle, Nigel Hart, Michelle Jones, Judith Trainer (LD)
In Attendance:
Cllr Carol Clark, Cllr Norma Stephenson
Apologies for absence:
were submitted on behalf of Cllr David Harrington, Oliver Crisp, Ciaran Poole, and Yacouba Trarore,
Item Description Decision
AGREED that the minutes of the meeting held on 13 May 2014 be agreed as a true record.
AGREED that:

1. the information be noted

2. the SYA's comments be taken into consideration when developing the website

3. an update on progress be presented to the SYA
AGREED that:

1. the information be noted

2. the SYA's comments be taken into consideration when developing the website

3. an update on the Police and Crime Panel final report be presented to the SYA

AGREED that the information be noted and the Association of North East Councils (ANEC) Supporting Young People into Employment report be presented to the SYA
AGREED that the report be noted.
AGREED that:

1. the information be noted

2. Angelica, Chloe, Ethan and Kathryn present at the SIRF VIP event

3. an informal meeting be arranged in August 2014
AGREED that the Forward Plan be noted.


Members of the SYA considered the minutes of the meeting held on 13 May 2014
The Web Development Project Lead and Pears Digital informed the SYA that Stockton Council was looking to improve its website and were consulting with different groups and organisations on how the website should look.

The SYA discussed the current website, which some members had used to find contacts and to view the library section. It was noted that there was a stigma to using the Council's website, and suggested that promoting the website through schools may help to change the stigma. The SYA suggested that a section on the website for young people which shared information regarding schools, sexual health, and other relevant issues would be useful. A link to secure chat rooms were young people could discuss issues e.g. bullying was also seen as useful.

The SYA was shown a draft layout of the new website. It was explained that the front page of the website would have quick access to information by tasks members of the public wish to carry out e.g. job searches, planning, bin collections etc., an A-Z of the services, and also a search tool. There was also a link to events on the front page. The new website would work better on mobile phones and tablets.

The SYA preferred the appearance of the current website as they felt that the proposed new website was not colourful enough, was too grey, and too formal. The SYA believed that the proposed layout was not inviting and would stop a young person from looking further on the website. However, the SYA believed that the different options for finding information was good, and that the search tool would be effective as most people are familiar with this type of format when using the internet.

It was noted that an App was being developed by the Police and Crime Commissioner's office which would inform people of events in the local area, and this was on the SYA's Forward Plan for a future meeting.

It was hoped that the new website would be public by Spring 2015, following further consultation and development. The SYA requested an update on the development of the website at a future meeting.
The Chair of the Police and Crime Panel (PCP) presented a report regarding a task and finish group review of the 'school liaison' work carried out by Cleveland Police. The role of the PCP is to scrutinise the actions and decisions of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), thereby holding the PCC to account, and, in addition, is able to carry out in depth scrutiny reviews into a particular issue or concern.

The review had noted that there were benefits for police officers to work with schools, including improved relationships and an increased sense of safety for pupils. The task and finish group had consulted with the Chief Constable of Cleveland Police, Community Safety, and Head Teachers and Governors. They found that there was a mixed experience of how easy it was for police and community safety to gain access into schools, however when they did they were able to take part in assemblies, deliver lesson on a range of crime and antisocial behaviour issues, meet with pupils during break times, and hold drop ins. Schools which had worked with the police and community safety, had seen this as a positive experience.

The PCP was interested in the SYA's views on their experience of police work in schools. While some SYA members stated that they had had contact with the police in their school, others had not. For those who had had contact, this was generally due to an issue however one SYA member said that this lead to a lesson being held. Other comments included:

•If they saw the police in school they would automatically think something wrong had happened
•They do not see police or PCSO's patrolling outside schools
•They would like a stronger connection to the police in schools, with the police coming into schools more regularly, as it would break down barriers and stigmas between the police and young people
•All the SYA members had taken part in lessons at school regarding crime and antisocial behaviour issues, and had found these interesting.

The SYA discussed how information on online safety and cyberbullying was shared in schools. There were different approaches in different school, e.g. as part of the citizenship lessons, during assemblies, as a programme where students give information to other students, and only receiving information when an incident of cyberbullying had happened.

The task and finish group would report on the review findings in October 2014, and would also report back to a future SYA meeting.

It was noted the PCP meets in public and that any SYA member that wished to attend a meeting were welcome to do so. A Criminal Jutice Volunteers Fayre was being held on 4 November 2014, and SYA members were also welcome to attend if there were interested.
Further to the meeting on 21 January 2014 when the SYA was asked for views on careers advice, training and employment as part of the Scrutiny Review of Education & Employment, an update was provided on the outcomes of the review.

The SYA was reminded that the Scrutiny Review sought to ensure education and training equipped young people with skills that businesses and employers across the Borough needed and examined how to bring education and business together to ensure that learning provision matches local industry need. The SYA had suggested that the Council should:

• Get more employers involved in schools
• Get schools to provide impartial independent guidance
• Get better and more information about jobs into schools including information about obscure jobs
• Develop structured and planned work placement programmes
• Do all you can to ensure equal opportunities
• Work with employers to help them realise how hard it is to get experience and how unfair it is to penalise young people who haven't got experience
• Work with different age ranges and make sure that the enthusiasm of young people is encouraged
• Employers said that young people want to do something they enjoy rather than what will lead them to work, these are not mutually exclusive!

These views, which were consistent with feedback received from local businesses, were fed into the review and informed the Committees recommendations:

1. That the Council work with local businesses and employers, schools and post 16 education and training providers to develop an action plan to deliver the following objectives:
• greater interaction between schools/ colleges and local business
• helping young people remain in education and training which leads to progression into further education and employment
• promoting awareness of the job market, growth sectors and employment opportunities both locally and further afield, as part of independent careers guidance for Key Stage 4 and post 16, including the development of a job search tool and improved website access to job information and access to an annual job fair event/ promotional activities
• enhance the employability of young people
• provide more and varied opportunities for work experience
• provide support in applying for further education and employment opportunities including practical support in making applications

2. That funding avenues are pursued in order to deliver these objectives.

3. That Council services continue to work closely together to deliver the action plan.

4. That the Committee welcomes and supports Stockton Youth Assemblyˇ¦s local campaign topics which include better work experience and apprenticeships.

5. That the Director of Children, Education and Social Care and the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People write to all Stockton Schools and Chairs of School Governing Bodies drawing attention to the Select Committee report and emphasising the importance of interaction with local businesses and employers as part of the provision of quality careers information and guidance and encouraging all Secondary Governing Bodies to appoint a governor champion for Enterprise and Employment and consider placing a regular item on Governing Body meetings.

The Committee would monitor the recommendations to ensure that they were fully implemented.

An example of a skills event that was held in a Middlesbrough school, which was attended by people from different sectors and gave pupils work experience opportunities, was discussed. It was noted that an Interactive Skills Event, which was being held on 6 November 2014, would replicate this for Stockton pupils.

It was noted that the Association of North East Councils (ANEC) had also produced a report, Supporting Young People into Employment, which aimed to address youth unemployment in the region. The SYA requested that a copy of this report to be brought to a future SYA meeting.
Consideration was given to a report which outlined the Scrutiny reviews being carried out in 2014/15 by the Councils Select Committee. The reviews were:

Arts, Leisure and Culture - The effects of arts, leisure and culture on wellbeing

Adult Services and Health - Quality of home care services; and

Children and Young People - School Organisation and Admission Arrangements; A Safer Place for Children (Policy Guidelines);
and the transition from primary to secondary school

Corporate and Social Inclusion - Licensing and Public Health

Environment - Tree Preservation Orders; and Country Park Maintenance

Executive Scrutiny - E-Cigarettes and the policy on smoking in the workplace

Housing and Community Safety - Welfare Reform; and Neighbourhood Policing

Regeneration and Transport - Improve further the standard of roads and footpaths; and Future of Durham Tees Valley Airport

It was noted that the SYA would have opportunities to be involved in reviews as appropriate.
The Chair discussed her work as the MYP with Young Minds. This included:

• Involvement in writing a report on Mental Health and Wellbeing which she wished to share with the SYA, Councillors, and the Public Health Team.
• Lancaster Council had run a project, "Thick as Thieves" to promote Mental Health and Wellbeing by producing a film where pupils take part in "flash mobs", performing a dance routine.
• Young Minds has offered to run free workshop in to all schools and colleges on Mental Health & Wellbeing.

It was noted that the deadline for schools to register their interest in Make Your Mark campaign had been extended to 22 July 2014. A letter had been sent to all Head Teachers, and the Chair had contacted some schools to encourage them to register. The SYA members were asked to encourage their school to get involved. Cllr McCoy stated that she would also contact Head Teacher, in her role as Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, to encourage them to take part.

The Chair also discussed her involvement in a report on perception of antisocial behaviour as part of her role as MYP. Funding was being sought to support the report.

An informal SYA meeting would be held in August to discuss both the Make Your Mark campaign and antisocial behaviour report.

The SYA was informed that opportunities to be involved in different British Youth Council (BYC) roles and events were posted on their website, North East Youth Voice Facebook page and Twitter account.

The SYA was invited to a VIP event for the opening evening of Stockton Riverside International Festival (SIRF). The event was being held on 31 July, 7.30pm at the Town Hall. There would be different activities throughout the Town Hall and at 9.30pm everyone would be taken down to the opening show of SIRF. Volunteers were requested to present the Votes at 16 project at the event, and Angelica, Chloe, Ethan and Kathryn agreed to take part.

A further volunteering opportunity was raised, to work in the wristband exchange/box office at Stockton Weekender on 26th and 27th July. Volunteers would work from the opening of the festival until 5pm and would then gain free entry into the music festival.

Information on a survey, Pharmacies Needs Assessment (PNA), being carried out by the public health team on community pharmacies was distributed. The PNA looks at what local people might need from community pharmacy services, what was already available, and suggested improvements. The deadline for completing the survey was 1 August 2014.
Consideration was given to the Forward Plan, which outlined the items to be discussed at the next formal and informal meetings.

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