Young people take control

6 December 2018

Brent's young people took part in the Children's Commissioner Takeover Day on Friday 23 November. 

The secondary school pupils spent the day working on challenges faced in Brent. They had to decide how money should be spent in the borough, draft plans for how Brent should look in the future and share their ideas on how to make the upcoming London Borough of Culture year a success. 

The activities were part of Takeover Challenge 2018 - a national event led by the Children's Commissioner for England, which puts children and young people into the heart of decision-making roles.

Working alongside council officers, children were able to provide their views on some of the current consultations in Brent, such as the recently launched Local Plan consultation, which asks residents what they would like Brent to look like in 2040.

They fed their ideas into a new website. Brent Youth Zone is a new mobile friendly website that enables young people to search for activities and services relevant to them. Packed with things for young people to do locally, it was officially launched at Children's Takeover Day and already has rave reviews from the first people to use the service.

Cllr Mili Patel, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said:

"We always look forward to Takeover Challenge day. It is a great way to understand the wants and needs of children and young people in Brent.

"I hope the day has been as interesting and insightful for the children, as it has been to me and my colleagues. Running a council, managing a budget and making sure we are looking after all our residents, whatever their needs is a balancing act and I'm glad we are able to educate young people about that but most importantly it's an opportunity to hear their views.

"We have members of Brent Youth Parliament sit in on regular Scrutiny Committees but Takeover Challenge allows us to meet a wider range of children who we may not always get to meet. It's great to gain some insight and the creativity shown by some of the young people is inspiring.

To find out more about the Children's Commissioner's Takeover Challenge, please visit: www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/takeover-challenge.