On December 8th, five members of St Basils Youth Council took up the opportunity to travel to London to the Houses of Parliament to take part in a consultation event entitled ‘Erdington Young People’s Parliament in Parliament’ (EYPPP) hosted by Jack Dromey who is the MP for Erdington, Birmingham.
The main aim of the event was to help identify the three main issues effecting young people in Erdington, to help produce Erdington Young Peoples Manifesto for 2015.
Two of the young people were from St Basils, Short Heath Supported Accommodation which is located in Erdington. The other three are all members of St Basils Youth Council and elected Residents Reps of three St Basils supported accommodation schemes. The event was also attended by other young people from the Erdington area, including students from several local schools.
As well as meeting with Jack Dromey MP, the day included discussions with other Parliamentary representatives including an amusing speech from Rt. Hon. John Bercow, Speaker of the House, who was also available for a question and answer session afterwards.
The event closed with a hearty discussion to identify and agree the key priorities of young people in Erdington. Six subjects were identified by the young people as the key issues for discussion. These were Youth Unemployment, The Living Wage and an end to Zero Hours Contracts, Youth Services, Homelessness, Racism and Sex Education.
From the discussions the EYPPP voted on what should be the top three priorities for the Erdington Young Peoples Manifesto to be launched in 2015 and to be championed by Jack Dromey MP. The three top issues voted for were:
One young resident who took part, Oliver, 18 said: “I enjoyed the speeches and discussions on some of the issues. It was a fun day. I’ve got Jack Dromey’s contact details now and I’m hopefully going to be working in Jack Dromey’s office soon to get some work experience!"
Sam Henry who is responsible for Youth Engagement internally and locally said: “Going forwards I really think it is important to keep these issues alive and that we focus the St Basils Youth Council (SYBC) to work closely with the members of the EYPPP based in Birmingham to allow the Youth Council to have a clear voice to decision makers in the local council in Birmingham. Young people will be making a presentation to the rest of the Resident Reps from across St Basils, St Basils Board of Directors, Senior Management Team and staff at the next SBYC meeting to help take this forward”