Issue - meetings

Establishment of a Youth Council

Meeting: 14/03/2023 - Cabinet (Item 54)

54 Support to the Rushcliffe Youth Forum pdf icon PDF 258 KB

Report of the Director - Neighbourhoods


It was RESOLVED that Cabinet agreed to support the existing Rushcliffe Youth Forum for the next two years to help expand membership, increase awareness and increase opportunities for collaboration.



The Portfolio Holder for Communities & Climate Change, Councillor Brennan, presented the report of the Director Neighbourhoods which outlined proposals for support to the Youth Forum.


Councillor Brennan explained this report came on the back of a few motions that had come to Full Council over recent years, in looking to find ways of engaging young people in the democratic process and local decision making. She said that there had been a particular motion which had proposed the creation of a Youth Council for the Borough, and whilst that motion had been lost, the proposal had been referred to scrutiny for review.


Councillor Brennan said that in reviewing options, it had identified that Rushcliffe already had a Youth Forum in operation, which was chaired by the representative for Rushcliffe on the National Youth Parliament and supported by the County Council as part of their statutory duty to support young people. She thought that Youth Forums and Parliaments were a great way for young people to take part in debates and discuss issues important to them.


Councillor Brennan referred to paragraph 4 of the report which set out the background to the recommendations and noted that a number of other local Councils had similar Forums in operation, with varying degrees of success and engagement. She said that the most successful ones appeared to have good support both from their National Youth Parliament member and from Nottinghamshire County Council Youth Services department.


Councillor Brennan explained that the scrutiny process had concluded that the existing Youth Forum for Rushcliffe was essentially a Youth Council by another name and that there was no need to establish a new body. She noted, however, that engagement with the existing Youth Forum had been patchy and that numbers were quite low, especially since the pandemic. She also noted that Rushcliffe, as a Borough did not have contact with schools and that setting up a new youth body from scratch would require a budget and resources, and it was therefore proposed that, rather than reinvent the wheel, focus be put on reinvigorating the existing Forum with support from the Council, such as in providing meeting rooms, perhaps with Members attending some of their meetings, for the Council to consult with the Forum on some of its strategies and proposals and to provide publicity for the Forum to attract new members and support its online presence.


Councillor Brennan noted that since the writing of the report, the representative for Rushcliffe on the National Youth Parliament had stood down to concentrate on their studies and the Council would support Nottinghamshire County Council in recruiting a new representative to the role.


Councillor Brennan concluded that this provided a great opportunity for the Council to build on something that was already in place to help it grow and encourage young people to become involved in local decision making 


In seconding the recommendation, Councillor Inglis said that it was important for young people to have a forum and opportunity to express their views  ...  view the full minutes text for item 54