Agenda and minutes

Children and Young Peoples' Forum
Wednesday, 25th January, 2017 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Offices, Station, Wigston. View directions

Contact: Mark Smith  Email: mark.smith@oadby-wigston.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

19.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Cllr Ms A R Bond, Cllr Ms K Chalk, Cllr Miss M V Chamberlain, G White (Youth Offending Service - IMPACT Team)

 

20.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting held on 1 September 2016 pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Forum held on 1 September 2016 be taken as read, confirmed and signed.

 

21.

Step Out Youth Group Update

Minutes:

The group is growing well and the trend is continuing following the Christmas break. Scheduled activities have been unable to take place this week however due to a spate of break-ins around the South Wigston area which, unfortunately, included the St Thomas’ Church hall where the group is based.

 

Due to the number of young people attending it has now been necessary to split the groups by age over the two nights Step Out is open; the older age range now meet on a Monday, with the younger members meeting on a Tuesday. Young people from as far away as the city, Countesthorpe and Oadby are attending sessions.

 

Plans for additional activities are in the pipeline but may incur a cost of £1 per person; there has been a positive response to this suggestion. This small charge would also make the group sustainable alongside additional funding streams which are available. Ideally the group would also benefit from having more space in which sessions can be run.

 

Step Out started with an offer of Boxercise and Streetdance sessions; 53 young people engaged with these sessions from their opening week. Step Out has gone from an idea to a success, based on these figures, in 6 months and is a much needed provision for South Wigston.

 

The equipment available to Step Out has also improved with the group now owning games consoles for young people to use. An approach to Apple has also been made as they are keen to support ‘deprived areas’ through donations of ex-display stock, such as iPads.

 

Young Leicestershire are “singing Step Out’s praises” due to their success, and promoting the group as a good model to follow in terms of community lead projects.

 

22.

Police Update

Minutes:

PCSO Ikram provided the forum with an update concerning the ongoing anti-social behaviour (ASB) around the Wigston town centre area. It was confirmed that, at present, the number of incidents reported from around McDonald’s are reducing; this is likely linked to McDonald’s no longer allowing any under 16s access to the restaurant after 4:30pm.

 

Some complaints, mostly from young people and parents have been received in response to this ban. The Oadby & Wigston Youth Council have already stated that it’s unfair for McDonald’s to be discriminating against all young people based on the actions of a few. The ban also fails to compliment the work that Oadby & Wigston Borough Council, and partners, are undertaking in the background to solve the ongoing ASB issues.

 

It is likely that the issues around McDonald’s will return as the restaurant does not appear to have a policy in place to solve them. The Police wish to meet with McDonald’s senior management to solve this issue. A request was made the McDonald’s management are invited to meet with the Oadby & Wigston Youth Council and/or the Children and Young People’s Forum regarding this issue. It seems apparent that McDonald’s require direction to assist with the ongoing issues.

 

The group of young people currently on acceptable behaviour contracts (ABCs) in relation to the Wigston ASB have begun migrating to Oadby, with an incident of trespassing and criminal damage having taken place at Parklands Leisure Centre. No other incidents have occurred at this time.

 

South Wigston does not at present have any youth related ASB issues being reported.

 

23.

IMPACT Team Update

Minutes:

G White, Senior IMPACT Worker, provided the below update to the forum via email:

 

“IMPACT workers Ajit and Louisa are now delivering two street based evenings a week in Wigston. One evening they are supporting the Something to Do Boxing Boot Camp sessions at the Horsewell Lane Club delivering informal education around ASB & consequences with the young people who take part in these sessions.

 

There other street based session will be working in key ASB hotspot areas that have been identified by the police and partners to engage with young people to continue to divert away from ASB and reinforce messages around consequences, ABC conditions etc. as well as reassurance visits with local businesses and victims of ASB.

 

IMPACT Sports Workers Si and Zubair have begun delivering Friday night football sessions as part of the Something to Do programme. It is hope that these sessions with divert a significant number of young people in to more positive activities.

 

I have also been working in conjunction with PC Carl Sutherley to deliver Knife Crime & Consequences Assemblies at South Wigston High School this week and last. Each year group throughout the school will have the assembly delivered to them. This is a hard hitting message covering the consequences, the law and sentencing regarding knives and weapons. This intervention was put together after the school had approached the local neighbourhood team following a number of students being found to have made adapted knives using pencil sharpener blades and pens. Following on from this piece of work will we be looking to deliver sessions in conjunction with the police across the district to other schools and education providers. In addition to knife crime these sessions can also cover ASB & Consequences, the realities of custody, substances, and internet safety for example.”

 

A Hill stated that she has had personal experience with the Knife Crime assembly and that she believes it is “Excellent.” M Smith will feed this comment back to G White.

 

24.

Wigston Anti-Social Behaviour

Minutes:

M Smith provided the forum with an update on the work of the Council in relation to the ongoing ASB around the Wigston Town Centre. This update built upon those already provided by PCSO Ikram and G White.

 

Referring back to McDonald’s having banned all under 16s from after 4:30pm, M Smith stated that this is likely to do with McDonald’s taking one of the conditions on the ABCs presented to 8 young people to the extreme. As part of the ongoing ABC process M Smith will be meeting with these 8 young people, in addition to 2 more who are set to be presented with an ABC, on the Monday and Tuesday following this forum meeting; at this meeting he will be presenting the 10 young people with a banning notice issued by McDonalds. It is hoped that this will draw a line under the ASB the restaurant has been experiencing, and allow young people who have not been involved in the ASB to access it again, by clarifying that those identified as being involved with the ASB are no longer welcome on McDonald’s property at any time.

 

M Smith also updated the forum on the diversionary activities available for young people to participate in under the ‘Something to DO!’ project operated by Oadby & Wigston Borough Council. These include Football, Dodgeball, Basketball, and a ‘Boxing Bootcamp’, on week nights from 6pm. All sessions, which started on 17 January, are open to any young person, free of charge, with the Police and IMPACT Team signposting young people to the sessions during street based work. Additional sessions, including non-sporting provision, will be added to the ‘Something to DO!’ project in the near future.

 

M Smith took time to explain to the forum about longer term plans, with partner support, to counter the ongoing youth related ASB in the area should reports rise to unacceptable levels again. The main option being considered is a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) similar to the one implemented by Blaby District Council in Countesthorpe last year. The PSPO, if implemented by the Council, would give the Police the power to disperse any young people under the age of 18 found in a group of 4 or more in non-permitted public spaces (i.e. car parks, shopping areas); young people would only be able to gather in larger groups on parks, at bus stops or at established youth provision in the area between set times. This was used to great effect in Countesthorpe when similar ASB issues were occurring. Members indicated an initial level of support for the PSPO should such a measure be required.

 

Members enquired as to whether alcohol, specifically alcohol acquired from the new off licence on Little Hill, has contributed to any of the reported ASB in the area. M Smith stated the neither he nor the Police are aware of any direct link between the Wigston ASB and alcohol, especially where young people are concerned.

 

25.

Youth Council Update

Minutes:

D Eckert, Chair of the Oadby & Wigston Youth Council, spoke with members about the planned work of the Youth Council in 2017. The main focus of the Youth Council at present is recruitment following several older members departing for university last September; links are being forged with local schools via Youth Council members to facilitate recruitment from their student councils.

 

The Youth Council will also be supporting, and promoting, the UK Youth Parliament’s ‘Curriculum for Life’ and ‘Votes at 16’ campaigns. The Curriculum for Life campaign looks at improving the content of the established PSHE lessons in schools to better prepare young people for life in the ‘real world’; this will be accomplished by teaching young people relevant life skills as part of these lessons. The campaign wishes to see the National Curriculum altered to incorporate this proposal. Under the Curriculum for Life campaign young people also wish to see teachers recruited who specialise in PSHE; an example was given in support of this where a graphics teacher was tasked with teaching about healthy living with no interest in the subject. With the teacher being disinterested the pupils in the lesson soon lost focus; specialist teachers passionate about the PSHE subject would not be affected by this.

 

Under the Curriculum for Life campaign the Youth Council have already written to Sir Edward Garnier MP, as the constituency MP, seeking his support in altering the National Curriculum as per the desires of the UK Youth Parliament. A similar letter has also been sent to Nicky Morgan MP as Secretary of State for Education.

 

In addition to the above the Youth Council’s Arriva campaign, looking at improving access to public transport in the Borough for young people, will be continuing.

 

Promotion of the Youth Council is continuing with its own website up and running. The Youth Council also manages Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts in order to reach more young people. All accounts, whilst contributed to by Youth Council members, are overseen by M Smith, R Morris and J McCormick.

 

As part of the promotion process R Morris, M Smith, the Mayor and Mayoress, and the Chief Executive of Oadby & Wigston Borough Council will be meeting with Wigston Academy’s student council on Wednesday, 1 February. It is hoped that this meeting, proposed by Wigston Academy to allow their students to put questions to Oadby & Wigston Borough Council about youth issues, will be a first step in gaining additional Youth Council members from the school.

 

It was proposed that the Youth Council also looks to start engaging with pupils at primary schools in the Borough. Whilst pupils would not be able to participate in meetings, by engaging them early on they would be more likely to progress to regularly attending meetings at an older age. Specifically year 6 pupils would be engaged with; it was suggested that by having the support of Councillors this approach may have greater results.

 

26.

Any Other Business

Minutes:

The Chair reminded members that we will shortly be circulating nomination forms for Young Citizen of the Year 2017. The Young Citizen Award will be present at the Council’s AGM in May.