Rhondda Cynon Taf County Youth Forum Minutes (03-10-18)

Another County Youth Forum meeting took place on the 3rd October 2018, in Clydach Council chambers. Unlike previous meetings the chair and secretary of this meeting were young people – Oliver Hopkins and Kaitlyn Bury, who were voted into these positions back in March.  Also, attending the meeting were two school council representatives from each school across RCT and members of the community groups. The community groups consist of young people aged 11 – 25 living in the Rhonnda, Cynon or Taff. These people may be in school, college, working or unemployed – pretty much anyone you can think of are welcome!

The CYF meetings take place every quarter of the year. Companies and organisations are invited to ask young people their opinions on plans and ideas. It gives young people a voice and a chance to express their concerns within RCT. Not only are the voices of young people being heard in our County, but all across the UK. At the beginning of the meeting Oliver announced that Kaitlyn Bury would become the new Member of UK Youth Parliament and will be attending the House of Commons in November- along with current MYP, Dylan Lewis-Rowlands.

Young Wales delivered a Brexit Consultation to the young people to start off the forum. Andrea and Sophie introduced the Children’s Rights measure and ran an activity discussing the five main areas of our lives that could be effected by Brexit. All young people are aware of Brexit, however, almost all were found to be ‘bored’ of the topic. Majority of the forum felt that there should be more information available to them regarding Brexit and its possible effect on them.

Next Andrew Burrows presented an update on the progress of the ‘Make your Mark campaign’. After a survey, it was demonstrated that only 50% of young people in the forum were actually interested in politics, however, 97% felt that the voting age in local authorities should be lowered to 16.

Oliver then introduced Lisa Toghill from the Cwm Taf Public Service board, alongside Sarah Evans who discussed how young people, in the future, will be able to understand the well-being act. Finally, the Young people were introduced to candidates running for Member of Welsh Youth Parliament. To vote for your chosen young person in your local area or school, register online here.

At the end of each meeting we have an evaluation and feedback section. The Young people here are allowed to input ideas into what they would like to discuss in the next meeting. These were: Domestic abuse, the Super School development and Homelessness in Wales. The next meeting will be in December of this year.

To have your voice heard and be involved in the County Youth Forum, discuss with your school’s YEPS worker or teacher running the school council. You must be between the ages of 11 and 25 and live in RCT. If you are not in school, you can join your local community forum by contacting a YEPS worker who runs these groups. These are:

Ryan Strong, Rhondda – 07786 523930

Hannah Bestwick, Cynon – 07824496437

Stacey Oliver, Taf – 07824896972

Once again a massive thank you to Sarah Evans and Cllr. Leyshon for your help running these meetings. Also, to Children in Wales, Welsh Youth Parliament, Andrew Burrows and Cwm Taf Public Service Board for taking the time to listen to our opinions and ideas!

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