Youth Council relaunch a success

Updated: 31 October 2017

On 12 October, Three Rivers District Council welcomed over 30 students from 15 primary schools in the district to our council chamber to take part in our newly relaunched Youth Council...

On 12 October, Three Rivers District Council welcomed over 30 students from 15 primary schools in the district to our council chamber to take part in our newly relaunched Youth Council. The students each represented their own school councils and came to debate presentations from Three Rivers staff on playgrounds, parking and elderly people which included a vote at the end.

© Hoss Photography

The students also learnt about how the council functions, makes decisions and the role of councillors. They also had numerous questions about the role of the Chairman and how councillors make decisions together. The pupils will choose projects from these topics to undertake themselves, returning again to the chamber in a few months to show the results. The main purpose of the programme is to engage students in the Citizenship curriculum, to help them to start thinking about playing an active role in society, voting and seeing first-hand how local government functions.

© Hoss Photography

The students really enjoyed the sessions and feedback so far has been really positive:

Cllr Alex Michaels said 'I was delighted to see such enthusiastic and bright students being so engaged and interested in debating, listening and talking about these service areas and ultimately taking the information back to their schools to start their own projects. As councillors, we work hard to represent local residents and it's important to get people involved from a young age so that they can challenge us and influence what happens around them'

Cllr Reena Ranger said 'It was excellent to see a full chamber, full of ideas and enthusiasm with students thoughtfully engaged in assessing different projects with such interest. I hope that each pupil involved will see their positive contribution and its impact, not only at school but also in the wider community and feel deservedly proud of it

Duncan Roberts, Head of Maple Cross JMI said ‘The Rickmansworth Consortium of Headteachers is committed to ensuring that all children understand their democratic rights and responsibilities: the right to have a voice and the responsibility to listen to the voices of others - just like they do in the Houses of Parliament! We were thrilled when Councillors Alex Michaels and Reena Ranger invited us to use the Council Meeting Room and, democratically, decide upon some local initiatives to support our local community. All 16 schools in the consortium will be carrying out a range of activities to support at least one of the following: elderly in the community; local playgrounds; road safety. Thank you to Alex and Reena for organising the event and for sharing their own democratic values and, thank you also, to the hard-working staff of the Council for spending the time to support the democratic process. We are lucky to be part of such an inclusive community all working together to make a difference.

Amelie Erasmus, Secretary of the Maple Cross Student Council said: 'It was very exciting meeting the councillors and I would like to meet them again and learn more about supporting elderly people. I may even consider a job in politics!'

Three Rivers Youth Council is open to all schools and we'd love to hear from you to arrange a visit. To receive details of future meetings, help with transport or any other information, schools can contact 01923 776611 or . The address for the meeting is the Penn Chamber, Three Rivers House, Northway, Rickmansworth, WD3 1RL.

All photographs supplied by Hoss Photography