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Bridport to get youth council
9:50am Saturday 21st July 2012 in Bridport
A YOUTH council is to go ahead in Bridport with elected representatives from every school in the town and surrounding villages.
Pupils, staff and members of the youth club were among those to meet at the Town Hall with mayor David Rickard, councillors and officials to discuss the idea.
Now a youth council will be held and a spokesman or young mayor may be elected to act as a figurehead.
Colfox Year 10 pupil Molly Foster introduced the workshop and explained how it ties into work to gain UN Right Respecting School status for schools in the area.
She said that the youth council could become a steering group to help Bridport towards becoming a rights respecting community “This would mean that the atmosphere that we become used to at school is not lost when we enter the town.
“Stereotypes will be reconsidered and the gap in communication between different generations will close, we hope.
“The creation of a youth council also makes a direct link to article 12 which says children have the right to say what they think should happen, when adults are making decisions that affect them and to have their opinions taken into account.
“I would like to see this happen within the town on a whole range of issues.”
The Bridport Youth Council will be formed next year with two children elected from each primary school in Bridport and its surrounding villages.
The youth club would also send representatives and there would be a larger group from Colfox School.
Meetings will take place termly at the town hall and key town councillors will be present to hear the views of young people.
The group felt there should be a second meeting each term out of school in a venue of their choosing.
The teachers met separately at the workshop, led by Bridport Primary School deputy head Jane Delaney to explore their roles.
Former headteacher David Powell, who has been involved in the Right Respecting initiative and youth council, said: “They explored effective participation and agreed to network next year to develop their work further. This could take place at the same time as the town youth council meetings, in a separate room.”
He added: “There is much still to discuss, like how the youth council may elect a spokesperson or young mayor and how to ensure all town and village young voices, including those educated elsewhere or at home are represented. It was a good start.”