Today saw a massive step in forward of getting young people involved in decision making at Cornwall Council. After a few years of talking about and working on the idea via a Single Issue Panel (SIP) of the now defunct Children’s Scrutiny Committee; a very positive decision has been made by the Children and Young People Portfolio Advisory Committee (CYPPAC) to allow official youth representation on the CYPPAC. This now means Members of Youth Parliament (MYP) will now be part of the CYPPAC committee structure.
By having the MYPs taking part, policies and services that concern youth can have a very early youth view. This will lead to I hope services that the youth want. Today’s decision will allow the MYPs to have access to all the relevant information enabling them to take part in the decision making process. With this information The MYPs will also consult other young people groups – via a clear structure – asking for comments before coming to the PAC to feed in the views of children and young people. It would be great if every youth group had a direct access to the CYPPAC, but that would not be feasible.
I feel this is just the first rung of a very important ladder of getting young people involved in how the Council carries out it business and more importantly, influences polices. In time I hope other PACs will a adopt similar process.
For me, this was one of my main priorities as a former member of the scrutiny committee and now as the Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People, something I fully support. I did hope the PAC would give a unanimous decision of having official youth representation on the PAC, but sadly, one member decided to vote against the proposal.
The document surrounding the process and original report can be found HERE