Young people to take over cabinet

Youth councillors will challenge city councillors to look at Newcastle through their eyes when they give a special presentation to cabinet on Wednesday.

Members of the city's Youth Council were invited to develop a report for September's policy cabinet, to reflect the views of as many young people as possible and to ensure an authentic youth voice at the heart of democracy in the city. 

The youth council's 28 elected members went away and spent months collecting the views of young people and service providers across the city.  

The report explores five key themes including life skills acquired on leaving school; things to do and places to go; the impact of drinking and nightlife; opportunities in work, education and training; and the influence of young people on decision-making. 

It will also make a number of recommendations for better working between the council and the city's youth and will seek to influence the council's youth agenda going forward.    

Youth Councillor Matthew Otubu, 18, from Arthur's Hill, said: "We have consulted with young people and put all their feedback into five broad categories. We are hoping that we can have strong debate with the policy-makers and decision-makers in the city, which is important to ensure that young people in Newcastle are part of the democratic process as it goes along." 

Watch the full video interview with Matthew on Youtube here.

Cllr Joanne Kingsland, Newcastle City Council's cabinet member for children's services, said: "It's vitally important that young people feel valued, empowered and included in the decisions made by their city council in all matters that impact on them and not just the work of children's services. This meeting will give them an important platform for making their voices heard more widely.

"The members of the Youth Council are such an impressive, articulate and passionate group of young people, and we look forward to debating the issues with them at our next meeting in the council chamber."

Members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting, which takes place from 4.30pm, on Wednesday 11 September, in the council chamber. If you are interested in attending, please let the City Council know in advance by emailing philip.hunter@newcastle.gov.uk or calling 0191 277 7802.

The papers can be found here