Agenda Item No.
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
CABINET: 4TH FEBRUARY, 2013
REFERENCE FROM SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (LIFELONG LEARNING): 21ST JANUARY, 2013
" PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT OF A YOUTH CABINET AND YOUTH MAYOR POSITION FOR THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN (CLSO) –
The report advised that during the Youth Service Scrutiny Review young people had informed Elected Members that they felt under represented and wanted a mechanism in place which would give them the opportunity to challenge and communicate with the Council and Cabinet on decisions that affected them. The Youth Service Provision Task and Finish Group of the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) had subsequently recommended in April 2012 that mechanisms for the involvement of young people in the decision-making process about services that affected their lives be established at Local Authority and locality level and that a report on options for such involvement be presented to the Scrutiny Committee. It was further recommended that the Vale’s Youth Champion should be a representative from the young people from the Vale of Glamorgan as opposed to being a Councillor appointment.
Following the above a proposed model had been identified, which was attached at Appendix 1 to the report, and which detailed that it would base the development of the Youth Cabinet and Youth Mayor around the existing Vale Youth Forum (VYF). The VYF was made up of young representatives aged 11-25 from across the Vale of Glamorgan and was a registered charity which worked with young people who either lived, worked or attended an educational establishment in the Vale of Glamorgan. The VYF worked in partnership with the Vale Centre for Voluntary Services, which employed the co-ordinator and the Vale of Glamorgan Youth Service who accommodated the co-ordinator.
The consultation results from the Local Democracy Week (attached at Appendix 2 to the report) determined that members of youth clubs, school council members, members of other youth groups and young people who did not belong to a youth organisation should be able to be elected onto the VYF and the Youth Cabinet. However 51% of the young people felt that there should be a limit on the number of young people who were not elected by their school or youth group on the VYF. It was proposed that Members of the VYF would be nominated and elected to sit on the Youth Cabinet and would then be responsible for representing the interests of young people in the Vale to decision-makers. It was proposed that the Vale Youth Cabinet would meet regularly with Council officers, Councillors and Cabinet Members of the Vale of Glamorgan Council to put forward young people’s issues.
It was proposed that the Youth Mayor position was nominated from the VYF, however 50% of those consulted felt that all young people aged 11-25 from the Vale of Glamorgan should be able to vote for their favourite candidate. The consultation results had also highlighted suggestions for the duties of the Youth Mayor and had determined that the Youth Mayor should initially serve for one year and to have a deputy Youth Mayor in place for the same term of office.
Young people had further suggested that the main communication method should be via Facebook. This method ad been suggested in order that young people could get in touch with the VYF and the Youth Mayor, that they could be informed about the work of VYF and the Youth Mayor, and it would enable the VYF and the Youth Mayor to gather the views of the young people across the Vale.
The report also made reference to the Children and Young Persons (Wales) Measure which had come into effect in Wales in 2012. The Measure placed a duty on Welsh Ministers to take appropriate steps to promote knowledge and understanding of the Convention amongst the public including children. Participation was a fundamental right which was set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and which was adopted by the UK Government in 1991. The Welsh Government was committed to driving forward the principles of Article 12 across Wales, thus ensuring young people aged 0‑25 had opportunities to contribute to and have their voices heard in decision-making issues which impacted on their lives. The Shared Purpose – Shared Delivery guidance of 2012 also highlighted that further work needed to be done to promote and facilitate the engagement and participation of children and young people and it was proposed that information on how this could be achieved should be included in an engagement strategy.
A Member, who had actually sat on the Scrutiny Review Task and Finish Group stated that the young people who had been involved in the review had been from a wide cross section and the enthusiasm had been tremendous which was to be welcomed. The Principal Youth Officer advised that other consultation had also been undertaken during 2012 which had included young people from all over the Vale being invited to workshops at the Fire Station in Barry and an on-line survey had taken place. Members then referred to transport arrangements for young people in the rural Vale with the Youth Officer advising that a greater emphasis would be required on the use of the Green Links bus and voluntary drivers. It was also mentioned that the Cabinet was currently holding some of its meetings throughout the Vale of Glamorgan and in light of the proposals to engage further with young people, some Members considered this to be a good way of engaging.
In noting that representation for the proposals of a Youth Cabinet and Youth Mayor would develop around the existing Vale Youth Forum Members urged the Department to consider how they could engage more with young people in respect of the election and voting process. The use of social networking sites and the media was also agreed would be a significant advantage in engaging with young people.
Having fully considered the report, it was
RECOMMENDED – T H A T Cabinet be informed of the Committee’s support to the establishment of a constituted Youth Cabinet and the development of an election process for a Youth Mayor position.
Reason for recommendation
The establishment of a Youth Cabinet and Youth Mayor would provide a voice for young people in the Vale by which their views and ideas could be considered in the Council’s decision-making process and that the Scrutiny review recommendations are progressed."
Attached as Appendix - Report to Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning): 21st January 2013