We have decided to create 10 Themed Officer Posts, whose role and responsibility are to work closer with County Councils Executive Board replicating appropriate portfolio themes. The idea to create these positions came following our successful Councillor #TakeOver pilot project in 2017, where members of the Youth Council spent the day shadowing leading Carmarthenshire County Councillors to get a flavour of their work as Executive Board Members.
During the #TakeOver Days Youth Councillors had the opportunity to meet councillors and council staff and to ask questions of the various departments and services they visited. Shadowing County Councillors was a very interesting experience. It enabled us to gain an insight on a day in the life of a member of Carmarthenshire County Council’s executive board.
We hope that the Election of Themed Officers will help strengthen the links and relationships between us and the council’s executive board, making sure that children and young people have access to their rights and that they are visible in the work and decision made by the County Council.
Themed Officers were elected at our AGM and a programme of accredited training from the British Youth Council Local Councillor Shadowing Award will be made available to successful candidate by the County Council Participation and Childrens Right Team.
Officers will stand for 2 years as we are keen to make a real difference in our local communities and I think this is a great opportunity to share our concerns and aspirations with local leaders.
The award nationally accredits young people’s achievement and we hope that by engaging with young people in this way, Carmarthenshire County Council Councillors will be exposed to young people’s genuine enthusiasm to learn and get a better understanding and involvement in local democracy.We hope to work with the Executive Board in the coming months to develop a two year plan identifying what opportunities would be made available to Themed Officers, such as attending Councillor Surgeries, Full Council Meetings, Visits and Tours etc.
We do hope that this developed is something that is welcomed by the Executive Board as we are looking forward to working closer with them to make sure children and young people will be involved in local decisions that impact on their lives and will have the opportunity through the Youth Council to have their voices listed to on any issues that are concerning them.