Agreed by Rochford District Youth Council in May 2019
The aim of the Rochford District Youth Council is to provide a voice for young people at a level to forge links and facilitate dialogue between young people and decision makers. We would like to make improvements to our communities and work on projects that can have a positive impact on people’s lives.
Organisational structure of the council:
Youth Council meetings are chaired by the Youth Chairman or by the Deputy Youth Chairman in his or her absence. The Youth Chairman and Deputy Youth Chairman are the only elected representatives of all young people in the district of Rochford.
Youth Council Members are not elected, and membership is open to all young people aged 11-18 who either live or are educated in the district of Rochford. However, on becoming Youth Council Members, they are considered to be representative of the young people of the district of Rochford and are expected to attend Youth Council meetings and on a regular basis and regularly participate.
Elected roles and responsibilities:
Youth Council members can only hold one elected role at a time, i.e. Youth Chairman, Deputy Youth Chairman and UKYP. To run for Youth Chairman /Deputy, the youth council member must be a member for a minimum 3 months and be in year 8 or above at school.
They are elected on a yearly basis. A democratic election will be held at the October meetings of the Youth Council and the person with the most votes by a simple majority is appointed Youth Chairman.
The qualities that we look for in a Youth Chairman are adaptability, supportive, organised, self-disciplined, have time available, not bossy, very reliable and committed. Their role includes being the Chair at Youth Council meetings, and supervising Youth Council appointments.
The person with the second highest number of votes by a simple majority is appointed Deputy Youth Chairman. The Deputy Youth Chairman is required to undertake work delegated by the Youth Mayor. The qualities we look for in a Deputy Chairman are adaptability, supportive, organised, self-disciplined, have time available, not bossy, very reliable and committed. Their role includes being the Deputy Chair at Youth Council meetings, and supervising Youth Council appointments.
Member of Youth Parliament: (not yet approved or elected to)
The MYP is elected on a yearly basis and is required to attend BYC conventions and UKYP events and debates and to deliver the aims and objectives set out by the UK Youth Parliament on a local and national level. The qualities that we look for in a MYP are: adaptability, supportive, organised, self-disciplined, have time available, not bossy, very reliable and committed. Their role includes attending UKYP events and representing the district of Rochford locally and nationally.
Other roles and responsibilities:
Youth Council Members who are not in a category A role may hold up to two category B roles, which are Chancellor, Website manager, Press officer, Membership manager, Elections officer, Speaker, and Minute taker. All roles are elected on a 6-monthly basis, unless otherwise mentioned. If there is competition for a category B role, the winning candidate is in school year 10 or above, and one or more of the candidates is in school year 9 or below, the highest placing year 9 and below candidate shall assume the role of junior officer, where they assist the primary officer in their duties. Should the primary officer need to leave their position, the junior may assume the role of primary officer until the end of the term. If nobody wishes to stand for election, the role may remain unfilled until a youth council member wishes to stand. There must be reminders of unfilled roles for new members.
To run for a category B role, the youth council member must be a member for a minimum 3 months.
The duty of the Treasurer is to maintain the Youth Council’s finances, optimise our expenditure, and provide economic guidance to the campaigns. The treasurer should also take active control of finances and consistently work to gather extra funds for the Youth Council via various campaigns and activities focussed on raising funds for the Youth Council’s activities and maintenance. They will review requests for funding.
Press and Media Officer
The duties of the press officer involve drafting press releases, using social and traditional media alongside other organisations to help the Youth Council campaigns and spread awareness of their activities. The press officer should also liaise with local media outlets (working with the Councils media team).
The duty of the secretary is to keep a detailed record of every interaction and statement made in Youth Council meetings, from the smallest topic to the debate. They should also, if present, take notes during committee meetings.
Committees on Demand
If there are issues that 4 or more Youth Council Members feel are important, they can seek approval from the entire Youth Council to set up a Committee on Demand to look into the issue and report back at the monthly meetings.
Youth Council Meetings
Full Youth Council Meetings will take place on a 2-weekly basis on a Wednesday and will last no more than two hours. Meetings will usually take place in the 6th form building at Fitzwimarc School. Attendance at Youth Council Meetings is expected by all members and apologies should be sent in advance.
Youth Council Meetings will be attended by Youth Council members only and supported by the strategic partnership officer from Rochford District Council and a youth commissioner from Essex Youth Services. If anyone else wishes to attend, a request must be made in advance to the Youth Chairman.
The Youth Chairman and Deputy Chairman will be responsible for approving applications, invitation to attend or formally declining the application.
Youth Council working groups will take place on a 4-weekly basis on a Wednesday, these meetings will be held 2 weeks after full council meetings. The aim of these meetings is to progress the work and campaigns of the Youth Council.
COVID update: The youth council currently meet weekly on Zoom on Wednesdays from 6.15pm to 7pm. Anyone wishing to attend these meetings needs to contact Kelly.Redston@rochford.gov.uk to access details. Information will be sent out about accessing the meetings on the day.
The agenda will be sent to all members before the meeting and Youth Council members will be required to present their ideas and reports to the Youth Council in written format or verbally to be tabled at the meeting.
Other Formal Meetings
The Youth Council is expected to take an interest in the work of other partnerships and formal meetings and, when possible, send representation.
Voting at Youth Council Meetings:
If a vote is required to agree a proposal, then a ‘one member, one vote’ simple majority system shall operate. Only those present may vote. The Chair is impartial unless a casting vote is required.
The Youth Council has a quorum of 5. In the absence of a quorum, normal business can be conducted but no votes or resolutions may be proposed or passed.
Either the Youth Chairman or the Deputy Youth Chairman needs to attend each Youth Council meeting. Youth Council Members can vote from their second meeting onwards
Changes to the Constitution:
Changes to the Constitution must be endorsed by a simple majority at a full Youth Council meeting.