Young People’s Question Time at Cornwall Council

Cornwall Council hosted a Young People’s Question Time in the council chamber today. Organised by the young people themselves via the Cornwall Youth Forum and the MYPs, the event was split into two panels. The audience was drawn from various schools in Cornwall.

The first panel consisted of George Eustice MP, Cllr John Wood – Chairman of Cornwall Council, The Director of Public Health and three MYPs Amy, Tabitha and Talia. I was invited to the second panel and was joined by Dan Rogerson MP, Anna – Senior Manager Directorate Support of Children’s Service and three MYPs, Jaspa, Tia and Ben.

The topic for the second panel were on the Curriculum for Life, youth employment and opportunities. It was good to hear all the panel members agree on the idea of the Curriculum for Life, which includes subjects of relationships and sexual education, financial education, political education and Health and Wellbeing which includes mental health issues being mandatory taught in schools.

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Many of the young people in the audience raised the worry of debt by going to university and actual jobs once they have finished. The panel spoke on how it was important for young people to get the best advice before they make their educational choices. Explained how people only start to pay them back when you receive a certain income. In fact, many people never pay back their loans within the repayment time.

The last topic, public transport, got the most questions from the audience. Questions raised from the lack of a reliable service, or service at all. the state of the buses and the huge cost of using public transport. The young people asked why they cannot have a concessionary fare scheme like those over 65 receive. Sadly, the panel had to explain that many bus routes are run without any subsidy from the council and therefore, the council had no say in the service. The same with the pricing. I wish it was different, and there was money available to subsidies more routes.

I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the event and I hope the young people in the audience got the answers they wanted. It would be good to have more events like this, with different panel guests drawn from areas that concern young people

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