Bicester teenagers will be given the opportunity to have their say in the future direction of the town after a proposal to formulate a local democratic youth body received the unanimous backing of Bicester Town Councillors.
The motion, which was proposed and seconded by Conservative Councillors Zoe McLernon and Jason Slaymaker, passed with collective agreement at a full Council meeting last night (Tuesday 3 September).
The body will be open to young people aged 11-18 who live or are educated in Bicester. The group will shape its own local agenda and will be run by its members, with the support of Bicester Town Council. A cross-party Youth Working Group will now be established to consult with young people on how they want the organisation to run and work closely with local secondary schools to get interested young people involved.
Councillor Zoe McLernon represents the South Ward. She said: “I was really proud to be involved in the Bicester Youth Council in the early 2010s. As a former member and Chairman, I am passionate about involving young people in the work of Bicester Town Council and Bicester as a whole. I stood in the local elections in May this year on the basis that I wanted to be a voice for young people, and I hope this is the start of many exciting opportunities to come for youth in the town.”
North Ward Councillor Jason Slaymaker added: “Young people are becoming increasingly engaged with the important issues of the day both nationally and locally and I believe Bicester really stands to benefit from the input of the town’s younger residents. I think it’s really important we give this group a platform to get their voices heard and look forward to working with them to make this initiative a success.”