Young people are set to takeover the City of Wolverhampton Council for the day - and become a central part of the decision making process.

This year's Takeover Challenge Day - a national event led by the Children's Commissioner for England - takes place on Friday (23 November), and the council has invited young people from Wolverhampton's Youth Council, Children in Care Council and Care Leaver Independent Collective to take part.

The focus of the event this year is on involving young people in planning and decision making, and so they will be involved in 3 projects during the day, working closely with council officers and sharing their opinions.

They will begin by working with the regeneration team by taking part in the ongoing consultation in the Westside Link Project. The majority of people who have responded to the consultation so far are adults and older people, and so Friday's workshop will enable the council to get the views of the city's young people on the proposals.

Next, the group will join members of the council's Community Safety Team to talk about knife crime. Tackling knife crime was voted the number one issue in the recent Make Your Mark ballot, with young people endorsing the motion that 'Too many young people's lives are lost to knife crime; the Government need to do more to help end the knife crime epidemic'.

The meeting, with the Community Safety Team and partner organisations in the city, will discuss the extent of the issue and what more can be done to tackle the problem locally.

Finally, the young people will join heads from Children's Services to discuss developments in the area. They will receive feedback from this week's Practice Week, which has included heads of service going 'back to the floor' to see for themselves frontline practice, and join in discussions about how the council can ensure it delivers more consistent, effective and efficient services which improve outcomes for children and young people.

At each session, the young people will also be working alongside members of the council's Strategic Executive Board, including Managing Director Tim Johnson who will be joining the discussion around knife crime.

Councillor Paul Sweet, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: "We have taken part in Takeover Challenge Day for many years and this is a great opportunity for the young people to share their views, get involved in making decisions about things that affect them and gain a valuable insight into the world of work.

"At the same time, we will benefit from a fresh perspective on our services and be able to work with our city's young people to help find solutions to some of the challenges we are facing."

The Takeover Challenge was originally launched in 2007 by the Children's Commissioner's Office as a fun, imaginative and exciting activity to encourage organisations across England to open their doors to children and young people to take over adult roles.

  • released: Wednesday 21 November, 2018