SETTING up a youth council is “off to a flying start” as organisers pledge to hold the Royal Borough to account over key issues that affect young people.

Senior councillors unanimously approved plans for the first steps of setting one up at cabinet meeting in February, to give young people a voice in shaping and influencing future policies and decision-making that matter to them.

Two members of the working group, Imogen Cobbold and Caitie Holden, gave an update on their progress of establishing a framework and the governance on the participation of the youth council.

So far, 16 applicants have been received from different schools across the borough, such as Windsor Boys School, to join the youth council once it’s up and running.

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Eighteen draft rules and regulations have been produced, which covers how often the youth council meets, election of officers, and the day-to-day running of the youth council.

These will be finalised when the council is assembled and vote on these draft proposals.

It was heard one of the key issues the youth council will tackle and hold the Royal Borough account over is climate change.

Councillor Amy Tisi said: “It was striking that the working group had three young women on it which is fantastic because our council, like many, is quite heavily dominated by men and it’s fantastic that we got young women showing an interest in politics and in local government.”

She asked what they are doing to ensure young people from minority ethnic groups or the LGBTQ+ community are involved.

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Caitie said they have involved a diverse range of schools to encourage diversity, while Imogen added they will engage with community groups within those schools to ensure they know they can be included with the youth council.

The working group, which has had four meetings to date, has been supported by the council’s head of governance Karen Shepard, youth engagement offices Elaine Keating, and councillors Stuart Carroll and Ross McWilliams.

Once established, the youth council could meet fortnightly or monthly.

Cllr Carroll said they have a “positive platform” to build from, while the leader of the council, councillor Andrew Johnson, added the youth council is “off to a flying start” given the 16 applications already received.

The update was given at a cabinet meeting on Thursday, May 27.