Greenwich Council

Agenda item.

Update on activity undertaken by Greenwich Young People's Council (GYPC)

To note the activity of Greenwich Young People’s Council (GYPC).

 

To note the progress made in developing young people’s participation in decision-making in the Borough and the GYPC forward plan.

Minutes:

The Panel welcomed members of the Greenwich Young People’s Council, who with the assistance of the Senior Participation Officer, made a presentation to the Panel.

 

The GYPC members explained that the GYPC was comprised of 18 Youth Councillors elected from 15 schools and youth organisations from across the Borough and the last elections took place in December 2015 at which there was a turnout of 50% of the eligible voters. It was noted that GYPC were currently recruiting for Youth Councillors to represent unrepresented schools and youth organisations in the Borough.

 

They described the induction residential at which they developed their manifesto, elected their officers and learnt more about being a Youth Councillor.

 

They detailed the Big Youth Conference held in June, attended by 68 young people from schools across the Borough, at which they discussed discrimination and hate crime, and possible solutions. The outcome was a list of ten project ideas that they thought would be effective in tackling discrimination in the Borough. Following on from this they held an open GYPC meeting in July and at which they voted for the top three projects to take forward. These were setting up anti-discrimination committees in schools, delivering peer education programmes in schools and increasing fundraising activities for anti-discrimination charities.

 

They had met with both the Children in Care Council and the ACE Disabled Young People’s Forum to ascertain how they could work together learn more about each other’s work. They had also taken part in the Police Youth Think Tank, attended the Police’s Stop and Search Consultation Group and spoken to OFSTED about their work. They had met with the Director of Children’s Services and the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, and also Matthew Pennycook MP and visited Parliament.

 

They said that membership gave them the opportunity to express their views and gave them a ‘voice’. They had participated in national consultations and events through the National Youth Council. They had attended public speaking workshops, and had also participated in the interview panels for the Director of Children Services.

 

They explained that they currently had 3 priorities which were; tackling discrimination, education for employment and community spaces for young people.

 

They said that being a member improved confidence, made them aware of other youth organisations in the Borough, enabled them to give a view and report back on their findings. They could help people and make a difference and they had developed their skills and increased their conversational capabilities.

 

The Chair thanked them for their presentation and asked for any questions.

 

The Panel asked the GYPC members to feedback what they would like to see improved in the Borough via the Senior Participation Officer.

Action: GYPC Members / Senior Participation Officer

 

The GYPC members provided a few initial remarks; that library work was important for school work but that libraries were not particularly quiet and there was a lack of quiet areas to use. They also highlighted the Vote 16 Campaign.

 

The Panel further asked what funding the CYPC received and how they decided how it should be spent. They answered; that £20k per annum funding was available and the GYPC decided at their meetings, in line with their manifesto, how to utilise the funding.

 

The Panel then queried what issues were identified from the Police Stop and Search meetings.

 

The GYPC members said that they had talked about the friction between young people and the Police, and the past issue of racism within the Police Force. The GYPC members had noted from the meetings that the Police were increasingly aware of the consequences of random Stop and Search, but it was a measure they had to use if they were alerted to a possible crime, and as a result were using Stop and Search with more care. The number of Stop and Searches had dropped from 200 to 60 per month on average.

 

The GYPC also discussed knife crime with the Police Youth Think Tank, and looked at ways to improve communication between the Police and young people, and the need for young people to report crime. The discussions resulted in a report being produced for the Community Safety Team.

 

The Panel asked if the GYPC provided input to School Governing Bodies to which they replied yes; at John Roan School they had highlighted the lack of diversity of subjects and as a result the school had introduced more Design and Technical biased subjects. It was also noted that some schools had Youth Council members on their Schools Councils.

 

The Panel then went on to ask them if they were aware of apprenticeship schemes in the Borough, and asked if they had attended the apprenticeship events. The GYPC members had attended the events but said that the scope of apprenticeships presented at the events was very limited, mainly administrative, and they would like to see the range extended to include other areas of work.

 

The Panel urged the GYPC to attend their local Councillors surgeries and discuss their views and aspirations for their local areas with them, for example their ideas regarding community spaces.

 

The Panel concurred that they were keen to maintain and develop contact with the GYPC and agreed to consider co-opting a Member from the Greenwich Young Peoples Council to the Children and Young People Scrutiny Panel. The Co-Chairs agreed to discuss the way forward with the Democratic Services Manager as this would result in a change to the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s Constitution.

Action: Co-Chairs CYPSP and Senior Corporate Development Officer 

 

Resolved –

 

1.     That the Panel noted the activity of the Greenwich Young People’s Council (GYPC).

 

2.     That the Panel noted the progress made in developing young people’s participation in decision-making in the borough and the GYPC Forward Plan.

Supporting documents: