Being part of the political process

Mayor Councillor Loudon with Neomi Midgley
Mayor Councillor Loudon with Neomi Midgley
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YOUNG Wiganers have swapped the classroom for the cabinet office in a specialised ‘Meet and Greet’ event.

Members from Wigan and Leigh Youth Cabinet and local councillors found out about each other’s roles in a bid to work together to improve the borough for young people.

The Mayor, Councillor

Susan Loudon, was also in attendance at the event held at Wigan Life Centre.

Coun Joanne Platt, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “Our current political system can sometimes seem unappealing to young people as subjects that disproportionately affect the young are bumped down the political agenda.

“Events like this help to connect our young people to procedures and decisions at a local level. Even more importantly they help local councillors to further understand the important role children and young people have in our

borough.”

Wigan and Leigh Youth Cabinet is one of a number of opportunities to encourage and enable youngsters to have their say as part of the Deal for Children and Young People.

The Youth Cabinet is open to all aged 11 to 19.

And the group helps to get young people’s views to decision makers at a local, regional and national level.

The ‘Meet and Greet’ event gave councillors a chance to find out about the Youth Cabinet’s work so far.

This has included shadowing councillors, organising a series of ‘Question Time’ events and visiting London for the annual UK Youth Parliament’s sitting in the House of Commons.

Samuel Miller, 12, from Spring View, said: “I’ve only been coming to Youth Cabinet for about seven weeks but it has already opened up opportunities and has made me happy.”

Newly elected Councillor Nathan Murray added: “I learned a lot. I didn’t realise there were so many different ways for young people to get involved, it’s something I would have loved to do when I was younger.

“It’s a good way for young people to develop the confidence to go on to be involved in politics if they want to. The average age of councillors nationally is 60.2 so I think it’s good to get more young people’s views into politics.”

For more information visit www.wigan.gov.uk/linc2 or email voiceandengagement@wigan.gov.uk.