Young people from across Mid and East Antrim Borough have ‘taken their seats’ in the Council Chamber at The Braid.
The specially convened Schools Youth Council saw around 80 Year 11 pupils engaged in one of two special ‘Mock Council Meetings’ in the Chamber.
Mayor, Councillor Audrey Wales, who officially welcomed the young people, said it was a great opportunity for Councillors and staff to engage directly local young people.
“As well as hear these young students speak out so ably in the Mock Council Meeting, councillors also had the opportunity to meet and talk with these young people face to face,” she said.
“I hope these activities have enabled them to learn more about the democratic process and the role of civic leadership within Mid and East Antrim Borough. Our ‘Corporate Vision’ is Working Together to Create a Better Future for All, and it was so encouraging to hear such positive and aspirational feedback from these young people who have fully embraced the programme as they are, of course, our future leaders,” Cllr Wales added.
As well as the young people holding their own Council meeting, the event also included an awareness raising session for all the participants, a guide to Council services, specifically looking at Promoting Good Relations and a tour of the civic headquarters at The Braid and a session looking at the role of Council and of its elected members within the organisation.
It was organised through a Steering Group of Elected Members and council staff in conjunction with Ballymena Learning Together, the Children and Young Peoples’ Strategic Partnership, Larne Learning Community and Carrickfergus Learning Community.