County Durham to launch new youth council
Young people are being invited to share their views about issues that affect them by joining a new youth council.
We are recruiting young people aged 11 to 17 to sit on the youth council, which will offer a platform for them to share their opinions on a range of topics affecting the whole county.
By young people, for young people
Run by young people, for young people, the council will meet monthly and will set its own agenda based on this issues that young people feel most strongly about.
The group will be granted its own budget to spend on projects that benefit young people across the county. Its members will also be involved in planning events, including an awards event to celebrate the achievements of the county's children and young people and campaigns based on local results from the UK's largest youth consultation, Make Your Mark.
Each of the county's secondary schools and sixth form colleges will choose two representatives to sit on the council through a democratic election. Two seats will also be reserved for children who are currently looked after by the council and those who aren't currently attending school.
Young people who are interested in joining the youth council should speak to their school or college, where elections will be held in February and March.
Olwyn Gunn, our Cabinet member for Children and Young People's Services, said: "All children and young people have a right to have their opinions heard on matters which affect them. The youth council will give them an important chance to share their views.
"It will also offer us a fantastic opportunity to discuss young people's concerns with them which will help us to plan council services which best meet their needs."
Opportunity to visit the House of Commons
Once in post, the council's members will also be able to put themselves forward to be elected as one of County Durham's representatives on the UK Youth Parliament. The two successful candidates will share the voices of young people in our region at regional and national meetings, including during an opportunity to visit the House of Commons in November.