Louth Town Council has paved the way towards the possibility of creating a ‘youth council’, which could give young people a greater voice in the town.
Councillor George Horton proposed that the Town Council set up a working group to consider the idea, which was overwhelmingly supported by his fellow councillors.
Coun Horton said: “This town council has got a lot to pat itself on the back for, but one of the things that I’ve been asked many times is that there is nothing going on for the youngsters in this town.
“When will the voice of the youth be heard? They want this, they want that, but nobody listens to them.
“It got me thinking that another initiative that this town council could take on board is to form a working group to find out if there is a possiblity to give these youngsters - the potential councillors of the future - the opportunity to form a youth council.
“They could meet perhaps once a month, and report back to this Town Council meeting about what the feel should be happening for the youth. It will give them an insight into how things work.”
Councillor Laura Stephenson commented: “I do think this is something very important - I think I may have mentioned it a couple of times myself. My biggest problem with this council at the moment is that it doesn’t feel like the young people are being listened to, even though individually we all do. But collectively, we tend not to.
“I completely support Coun Horton in this endeavour and I would love to work with him to make sure that this is done in the best possible way.”
Councillor David Hall added: “We did bring this to council two years ago and it is a fantastic idea, I’m just wondered why we haven’t done this already?”
Councillor Chris Green supported the proposal to form a working group, but voiced his reservations. He said: “In my experience, youth councils tend to be very enthusiastic at first, and after a while they tend to fizzle out.”
The reaction to the plans on social media has been generally positive. Louth teenager Paige Betony, 17, said:
“It’s definitely a good idea. As long as you get the committed young people who aren’t going to take it as a joke, it should be quite successful. It would give people my age a chance to make Louth a better place.
“Given the chance I think I would join a youth council in Louth. The most important thing would definitely having more areas for people my age to socialise, and getting more shops that would be more useful to us.”
Nadine Mctighe, 21, added: “I’ve grown up here since 2009 and there is nothing for me and my friends to do, to be honest.”
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