Young people quiz Horsham councillors

Horsham District Council crest
Horsham District Council crest

THREE Horsham District Councillors were quizzed by young people from across West Sussex as part of an exciting event looking at the roles of Youth Councillors.

The ‘Role, Representation and Accountability’ weekend event was held at Lodge Hill Activities Centre near Pulborough in April.

The event was organised by West Sussex County Council, while Councillors from Horsham District Council were invited to support the event by being on the panel.

Of the fifty three young people attending the event, ten young people from the Horsham District got the chance to take part.

Two of these young people represented the newly formed Billingshurst Youth Council.

The other eight young people were recently elected to West Sussex Youth Cabinet and UK Youth Parliament to represent their local areas.

The aim of the weekend was to enable young people to learn about the role and responsibilities attached to being a representative for young people, and to help them be fully accountable as figureheads for their peers.

They were able to take part in workshops exploring what it means to have a voice and how to effectively represent the views of others, including building skills and knowledge in safe use of social media, public speaking, campaigning, project management and how to effectively consult.

The young people also had an opportunity to raise issues with a panel of councillors and officers.

Horsham District Councillors Roger Arthur, David Holmes and Jim Rae formed part of the panel along with West Sussex County Councillors and Crawley MP Henry Smith.

Deputy leader and cabinet member for efficiency and resources, Roger Arthur, said: “The challenges facing our young people have rarely been greater.

“The worst recession in living memory has driven unemployment rates for 16 to 24 year olds to the highest levels since records began and the fastest rate of increase in depression is apparently amongst younger people. 

“Accordingly, I was delighted to meet so many youngsters, who were ready to give up time, to help improve the life chances of themselves and their contemporaries.

“They accounted well for themselves and certainly gave the assembled Councillors and MP for Crawley some food for thought.”

For more information about youth councils in the Horsham District, please contact Clare Ebelewicz at Horsham District Council by email clare.ebelewicz@horsham.gov.uk

To find out more about local West Sussex Youth Cabinet Representatives and Members of the Youth Parliament, visit http://www.yourspacewestsussex.co.uk/your_voice/youth_cabinet/results_2012.aspx