Last Friday I attended the official launch of Newcastle Youth Council. It is a little over a year since Children North East organised the first ever election to the Youth Council when 8,500 young people voted for over 50 candidates. Since then the ones who were successfully elected have been working hard to create what it thought to be the first independent Youth Council in England. There has been a lot to be done - working out the terms of reference for the Council - what it wants to do and how to do it, how often it will meet, what it will discuss and its relationship with Newcastle City Council. Also setting up the brand and marketing. The launch also marks the launch of their website: www.newcastleyouthcouncil.co.uk
Children North East has been helping the Youth Council in all these tasks. Not telling them what to do or how to do it but facilitating, advising and carrying out tasks they requested. The launch last week was the culmination of all that work. The Youth Council depends on a grant from the City Council but in all other ways is now able to manage its own affairs. This is the goal of our work with them.
The recent political change to the City Council from Liberal Democrat to Labour may mean many changes however I hope they will continue the grant to the Youth Council so that it can run its affairs for the coming year, its first year of full independent operation.