Riccall Parish Council has started a new initiative to involve young residents directly in local democracy. After advertising the scheme for 16 – 18 year olds, an interview and selection process took place for candidates and the council appointed two youth advisors to serve a one year term, attending its main meetings and advising on the views of young people during discussions.
Council Clerk & RFO, Lindsey Ryan, is particularly supportive of the scheme ‘I think that it’s a great opportunity for those involved, the council and our community. Although the youth advisors cannot vote, they are able to contribute to council business in the same way as members and most importantly, they have the opportunity to influence the discussion at the point of decision making. Our young residents are enthusiastic about where they live, keen to be involved and have lots to say!
It’s too easy to assume that we know what young people want and think without actually giving them a chance to join in. Hopefully this is a step in the right direction and we can continue to develop the scheme. I know that a similar scenario has worked at a Town Council in Hampshire and we hope that the Riccall scheme will be a success and encourage further Councils in the North of England to involve their young adults in local decisions.’
Finn Northrop, one of this year’s advisors said ‘Being a youth advisor to the council is an enjoyable and interesting experience and allows us to give a fresh perspective on issues concerning younger people in Riccall’
To find out more about being a youth advisor for Riccall, contact Lindsey Ryan