A Youth Council for the Winchester District becomes a reality

Young people in the Winchester District are set to get a bigger say in local affairs due to the development of a new Community Youth Council.


Following a hugely successful youth democracy event at St Mary’s Stadium last year and further training sessions, schools across the district have elected representatives to form the Youth Council.  The first meeting of the new Council will be hosted by the Mayor of Winchester, Councillor Chris Pines, in Abbey House on Monday 10th March.


The aim of the Youth Council is to give young people a say in local decision making, increase their understanding of local and national political processes, and improve their confidence and communications skills.


The Leader of Winchester City Council, Councillor George Beckett, who will officially open proceedings at on Monday, said, “It’s brilliant to see so many young people coming together to form our new Youth Council.  Through this Council the district’s young people will be genuinely involved in local democracy and the decision making process, giving them a taste of how local democracy works.


“The Youth Council will give young people a voice and a chance to express their views on a range of issues.  Just as importantly though, it will also provide an opportunity for elected Members to listen and learn from young people and find out how we can work together to plan for the future.”


Lin Ferguson, Hampshire County Council Children’s Services District Manager for Winchester and Chair of the local Children and Young People Partnership, said, “I am delighted by the launch of the Youth Council which will provide an excellent opportunity for young people in the district to get their voices heard.


“One of the key aims of the Children and Young People Partnership is to ensure that young people are able to express their views on issues that affect their lives and are valued for their contribution – the establishment of a Youth Council represents a positive move towards this aim. I look forward to seeing the Youth Council established and watching it go from strength to strength.”


Chloe Harrison, Winchester and Eastleigh's Member for the UK Youth Parliament and a pupil at Westgate School, said, “I look forward to supporting Winchester's new Youth Council in establishing itself as the voice and central focus for action on issues that are most important to young people in Winchester.  We will be representing our peers on a number of levels and asking questions of all those adults that hold the money, power and authority etc across a range of services in different organisations - to get things changed for the better.”