Greenwich Council

Agenda item.

Participation Service - Performance Reporting

To receive a presentation from young people engaged in participation activities and an update on the performance of the children and young people’s Participation Service delivered by The Participation People Limited.

 

Minutes:

The item was introduced by the Senior Participation Officer who invited current and former members of the Greenwich Young Peoples Council (GYPC) to present to the panel.

 

The current and former GYPC members  showed a video explaining the role of youth councillors, the skills they gained and their achievements in  the past year including: contributing to decision of the UK Youth Parliament, advising on local policies, supporting summer initiatives and holding a “unite and inspire” conference to teach young people about discrimination and how it can be tackled. They confirmed that the video was created to support future GYPC Members.

 

The current and former GYPC members stated they were not just a voice for young people but played a role as influencers in the local community working on priority areas with Greenwich Council. They added that the membership of the GYPC were from a diverse background and aim to change the Borough for the better.

 

As part of their Residential in February 2018 and School Council Conference, The current and former GYPC members confirmed they worked on team building, skills development and future planning developing  priority areas which were; Mental health, Street Safety and Curriculumn for life. They also aimed to reach out to new people, take part in more consultation locally and request councillor assistance with projects.

 

The Chair thanked the former and current members of the GYPC for their presentation and commented on their maturity and confidence.

In terms of participation, the GYPC current and former members confirmed that they receive volunteers from schools and youth clubs and invitations are sent to other youth organisations. They added that schools were invited to take part in the GYPC as part of the Schools Conference.

 

In response to a question, the Assistant Director Commissioning and Resources (Children’s Services) confirmed that youth is £15,000 a year which is shared by the GYPC and the Greenwich Children in Care Council (CiCC).  She added that the fund was managed by the organisation Participation People who also bid for funding with the agreement of the Council.

 

The Director of Children’s Services confirmed that members of the GYPC were on the interview panel for the appointment of the Assistant director Safeguarding and Social Care. She added that Members of the GYPC were also invited to a work day within different directorates of the Council to better understand the day to day work of local government, this also provided them with valuable work experience.

 

The former and current members of the GYPC highlighted the Anti Discrimation Conference they held as a way of bringing young people together. They added they had a number of contact points online including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and a page on the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s website with contact information.

 

In response to a question, the former and current members of the GYPC stated that they wanted career advice and life skills lessons and information on where to access relevant information.

 

The Panel noted there were a number of skills centres located in the Borough and felt that more work needed to be done to increase engagement. The Chair continued by thanking the presenters commenting on the diversity of the group and requesting to be informed of future meeting dates.

 

The former and current members of the GYPC left the meeting.

In response to a question, the Senior Participation Officer confirmed that the participation contract  had been extended to align with the  GYPC term. He stated that the service was performing well against the key indicators and the Ofsted recommendation’s, relating to the CiCC had been delivered, although further work was required to increase engagement.

 

In response to a question, the Assistant Director Commissioning and Resources confirmed that the participation contract cannot be extended any further and will have to be put to tender and recommissioned in line with the Official Journal European Regulations.

 

With regards to engagement, the Senior Participation Officer confirmed that there is encouragement for looked after children outside of the Borough to get involved and a consultation event in Kent was attended by 6 young people. He stated the CiCC organised a number of fun events to assist with developing their priorities. He added that the GYPC session attendance had been identified as an area of improvement  and a plan had been agreed to encourage sustained engagement.

 

The Director of Children Services confirmed that the “takeover days” for the GYPC take place across the whole Council. She added that the GYPC members have direct involvement with the Local Councillors as part of their role on the Corporate Parenting Board.  She added that the directorate were happy support Director and Cabinet Member involvement with the GYPC.

 

In response to a question, the Director of Children Services stated t there was pressure on teachers to perform to the curriculum which limits the time they spend on teaching young people  life skills adding that this can be tacked via youth services. She confirmed  the GYPC will shape the commissioning specification for the new contract and felt that the best way to influence young people is through other young people.

 

Resolved –

 

That the report be noted.

 

 

 

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