Croydon Council has announced a raft of initiatives to champion and empower children and young people, putting them at the heart of local democracy.
This comes as the council prepares to launch its Choose Your Future campaign, which reflects the priorities young people identified at Croydon’s first youth congress this year and encourages positive life choices.
The new proposals – outlined in a cabinet report published today – seek to ensure young people are involved, engaged and represented on key local issues. Highlights include plans for Croydon’s first ever young mayor and deputy mayor, to be elected by secondary school pupils across the borough next spring. They will work alongside Croydon’s youth council and youth cabinet, which continue to give young people a voice in local democracy. Meanwhile, following the success of this year’s youth congress, it will become an annual event, enabling local leaders to hear young residents’ views and continue the conversation.
Croydon is re-establishing the children in care council, giving children looked after by the borough the chance to have a say on things which really matter to them. This forms part of the council’s action plan to improve children’s services, by encouraging looked-after young people to inform and shape the care they receive.
The report also sets out plans for a series of awards for young people, to encourage and recognise achievement. Other exciting events for young people include the Takeover Challenge next month, which will see young people take on some of the town’s top jobs, and the development of the new Legacy Youth Zone.
“We want to transform our services for children and young people, putting them at the heart of everything we do. With more young people than any other London borough, it’s our ambition to not only meet the needs of all our young people, including our most vulnerable, but also to create a place where children and young people’s voices are truly heard.
“Croydon’s young residents are its greatest asset – they have huge amounts of energy, enthusiasm and talent and they deserve the chance to follow their dreams, and the skills to reach their full potential.”
Councillor Alisa Flemming, cabinet member for children, young people and learning