Young people across the borough gathered at Rochdale Town Hall last week (20 November) to debate with Rochdale’s top leaders about how to shape Rochdale’s future.
Over 100 young people, including youths from local disability groups, young carers, members of Rochdale’s Youth Parliament and youth clubs, got to put their thoughts, feelings and opinions on record at this special young people’s question time organised by Rochdale Safer Communities Partnership.
Panel members including leaders from Rochdale Council such as; Councillor Donna Martin, cabinet member for children, schools and families; Deputy Chief Executive, Linda Fisher and new Assistant Director for children’s services, Paul Marshall; joined Greater Manchester Police chiefs Annette Anderson, Inspector Umer Khan and Chief Inspector Nadeem Mir from Rochdale Division. They were quizzed by the vocal bunch on pertinent issues such as crime, discrimination, employment opportunities, youth provision and human rights.
Youngsters said they wanted a louder voice in council decision making and politics, more police visible on the streets and more events that brought the community together as a whole. Followers of the Partnership’s twitter feed @saferrochdale received live updates as the debate unfolded.
Councillor Donna Martin, cabinet member for children, schools and families at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “I was overwhelmed by the passion, enthusiasm and the level of intellectual debate by our young people. It was clear that they have a powerful voice and ideas to share with us.
“We must continue to listen and act on what they tell us needs improving, in order to safeguard our young people’s future.
“Our youth service is a real jewel in the crown of Rochdale Council they do a fantastic job engaging with youngsters, providing for their needs keeping them entertained, safe and inspired. It is to their credit that the young people here today thought many of our youth workers were shining examples of good leaders. I couldn’t agree more.”
Chief Superintendent at Rochdale Division GMP, Annette Anderson, added: “Last night we debated what made a good leader, and it was inspiring to see so many wonderful young leaders in the room.
“As leaders we are accountable to the community we serve. We’re accountable to young people in our borough. We must listen to what they have to say and allow them to shape our future, as many will be the leaders of the future after all.”
For the latest safety and security advice, crime updates follow @saferrochdale on twitter.
For details of activities for young people taking place across the borough including youth clubs log on to www.rochdale.gov.uk/events
Rochdale Council - A council which builds success and prosperity with our citizens and partners, whilst protecting our vulnerable people.