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Young people studying outside of the Wiltshire Council area can apply for youth council community seats

Young people can get involved in local decision making and have a say on funding for youth projects as part of a new democratic body being set up for Wiltshire.

Published 10 January 2022

The Wiltshire Youth Council will start in February, with representatives from secondary schools across the county elected to speak out on issues that are important to them.

Wiltshire Youth Councillors will have the power to:

  • Meet up with Wiltshire Council leaders and have their say on local decisions.
  • Work with area boards to ensure funding for youth projects has the right impact for them and their peers.
  • Inspect services to ensure they represent young people's best interests.
  • Easily communicate with their peers so young people's views are properly represented.
  • Opportunity to shadow council leaders as a shadow youth cabinet member for a particular area of interest.

Schools signed up and have encouraged 11-18 year olds to put themselves up for election, with elections due to take place between 31 January and 4 February.

Now young people who live in Wiltshire but attend a school outside the Wiltshire Council area will be able to stand for one of eight community seats in the Wiltshire Youth Council. Candidates must be able to evidence that they can consult with other young people who live in Wiltshire, for example they attend a youth group, faith group or any other place that they can attain the views of children and young people.

To stand young people must submit a sign-up form and a one-page manifesto to (opens new window) by 14 January.

The manifesto should tell voters a bit about them, why they want to stand as a youth councillor and what they want to do to help young people in their area.

A voting link will go live on the Wiltshire Council website between 31 January to 4 February where young people in Wiltshire can vote for their chosen candidates. The candidates will be contacted on the week commencing the 7 February to let them know if they have been successful in winning a seat.

Wiltshire Council will announce all the youth councillors at the same time on the council website and social media platforms after everyone has been contacted.

Youth councillors will be asked to commit one evening per month to attend a full youth council meeting, which will focus on issues important to the young people. They will also be expected to talk to their peers about the issues and represent their views. There will also be training to support them in their roles, covering topics including debating, running a youth inspection and delivering presentations.

Cllr Laura Mayes, Cabinet Member for Children's Services, said: "Hearing the opinions of young people on key decisions is a crucial part of democracy here at Wiltshire Council. The Wiltshire Youth Council will provide that platform for young people to share views and ideas from across their age group and have an active voice on issues that matter to them. A number of young people do attend school outside of Wiltshire so this will provide those young people with an opportunity to represent their peers in their community."

Young people who attend schools will already have submitted their manifesto in December in readiness for the elections. Any questions on the process can be directed to (opens new window).

You can watch videos of Cllr Mayes and Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of Wiltshire Council talking about why it's a good idea to be part of the Wiltshire Youth Council through (opens new window).

You can also follow the child and youth voice team on Facebook  (6) Wiltshire Youth Union | Facebook (opens new window) and Instagram Wiltshire Youth Union (@wiltshireyouthunion) • Instagram photos and videos (opens new window).

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