'youth council' debating key issues of the day.
St Helens MBC was one of more than 250 councils listening to 'tomorrow's
This year's focus was on young people and aims to raise awareness of the
key role councils play in communities and to give the public, especially
young people, a better understanding of local government.
Says leader Marie Rimmer: 'It's about ensuring that local people feel they
have a real stake in the democratic process and a real say about the
services provided by their local council. To encourage people to vote
they need to feel that they can make a difference and one way of achieving
this is to make sure they understand how the process works and the vital
role people have to play.'
With the fall in interest in local and national politics and the decline in
turnout for elections the spotlight is being put on the potential young
people have to shape the future of society and help redress this trend.
St Helens MBC invited all secondary schools to take part in a special
Youth Council and visits to London and Brussels are also planned. Dave
Watts MP and Terry Wynn MEP joined Councillor Rimmer in opening the event.
Councillors and officers also took part in debates with subjects ranging
from racism, sex education, bullying, education, housing and
jobs and training, libraries , drugs and alcohol, social services, teenage
pregnancy, transport, vandalism and young peoples' welfare.
Comments from youngsters taking part in the event included 'brilliant' and
'cool' with the majority saying that they had a far better understanding
of how councils worked, and vitally, that they appreciated the role the
community can play in helping to deliver a service to meet the needs of