10:40 Youth Voice
L. Davidson and K. Druker gave an overview of the Youth Voice Conference and Youth Parliament which took place recently. The Board was advised that the theme for the Youth Conference was ‘Respect’ and this was the result of a recent consultation. Schools and other organisations that involve young people were invited and of those who attended 87% rated the conference 7 or above.
The Board heard from the 3 peer educators regarding their roles and overall experience gained during and leading up to the events. Their topics on the day covered children and the media, work with young males (particularly around alcohol and drugs) and working with people with special needs. They all said how much they had enjoyed the experience and how much confidence they had gained.
They also had the opportunity to understand democratic processes and practice their debating skills at the Youth Parliament. Forty nine young people attended and 91% of these rated the conference 7 out of 10.
The motions from the young people included.
1. Upton Hall School (first motion)
Michael Gove is destroying the educational system of this country.
2. Wirral Youth Theatre Creative Development
Media literacy should be taught in all schools to enable young people to understand and interpret what they see to ensure that negative and sexualised marketing does not affect their self-esteem and identity.
3. South Wirral Young People
The new Youth Zone proposed to be built in central Birkenhead will cost Wirral Council £2 million of capital funding and a further £400,000 each year to support its running costs. Do you not think that the money would be better spent upgrading existing youth facilities across Wirral?
4. Weatherhead High School and Wirral Grammar Boys
The Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) should be brought back into schools, funded through cuts to MPs salaries and expenses.
5. Upton Hall School (second motion)
I agree with Russell Brand that the current political system is broken and revolution is the only way forward.
The presentation ended with the recommendations that a revision of the Charter of Participation and Engagement should take place shortly and also to create a Participation Reference Group. The Youth Voice Group recommended promotion, planning & delivery, training for other young people, staff and Elected Members and evaluation.
J. Webster advised she was a member of the ‘hot seat’ and said she found the questions pertinent and very relevant to the current situation. Feedback will be used in developing future service specifications around children and young people.
In summary J. Hassall commented that the events get better year on year and thanked the peer educators for all their work and participation in making the events so successful.
D. Gornik as a newcomer to Wirral endorsed these comments and was extremely impressed by the whole event and the level of respect and support the children had displayed for each other.
Cllr Smith thanked the group for all the work they had done and their involvement and as an attendee how much he had enjoyed the two sessions. He welcomes the opportunity for the young people of Wirral to experience the democratic processes at work and to share the opportunity to practice their debating skills.
The Board thanked the group for their contribution and note the report.