Young people should be given more of a chance to become involved in making political decisions – especially poorer youngsters or those from an ethnic minority.
Their cause is being taken up by the deputy leader of Brighton and Hove City Council – herself a former member of the UK Youth Parliament.
Green councillor Hannah Clare wants the council to sign up to the “Power of Youth Charter” promoted by the #iwill campaign.
If it does, the council will sign a declaration saying that it “believes that all children and young people should be empowered to make a positive difference on the issues that affect their lives, their communities and broader society”.
Councillor Clare plans to proposed a motion on the subject at a virtual meeting of the full council on Thursday (17 December).
She is calling on the council to recognise the importance of the Youth Council and to include young people in decision-making.
And she is asking that the council “reaffirms its previously agreed commitment to votes at 16”.
The council voted in support of the voting age change in July last year when it backed youth climate strikes in Brighton and Hove.
Councillor Clare said: “My first step into politics came from being elected to the Young Essex Assembly in 2007 aged 13 and later UK Youth Parliament in 2009.
“It’s no doubt this experience that has led me to where I am today.
“As a youth councillor I campaigned on accessible and cheaper public transport – and we won a pilot of a discount bus card for young people in Essex.
“We also worked with councillors and council officers to open a youth café.
“These were key projects that showed that councillors were listening to the voices of young people.
“Now I’m a councillor, I hope to be in a position to do the same with the young people of our city.”
The charter has five aims that spell out the word power.
- Prioritised supporting young people to take social action
- Open up our decision-making structures
- Work collaboratively with other organisations
- Evidence the benefits of youth social action
- Recognise and celebrate young people’s impact
The meeting of the full council meeting is due to start at 4.30pm on Thursday and is scheduled to be webcast on the council’s website.
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