Cllrs welcomes more youth engagement to Renfrewshire

Councilors hailed the success of participatory budgeting for young people in Renfrewshire.

The Celebrating Renfrewshire Fund has seen young people working together to complete projects across Renfrewshire.

Councilor Bruce MacFarlane and Robert Innes’ motion called for Renfrewshire Council to continue to provide support to young people in Renfrewshire and remove barriers to all young people’s participation in local initiatives.

The motion asked council to explore options for more youth engagement and collaboration with Renfrewshire council and the democratic and decision-making process.

The Council is due to launch its 2022/23 Celebrating Renfrewshire funding scheme soon, which will be available in all local partnership areas in Renfrewshire.

The Renfrewshire Councils Community Learning and Development team supports young people throughout the process with a steering group of young people meeting each year that funding is released.

A representative group of young people consult and debate the themes of the funding criteria each year to ensure that the fund meets the needs of young people in Renfrewshire communities. Young people who have been part of the steering group in previous years are invited to share their experience as well as to work with new members to develop and acquire new skills.

Bruce praised the collaboration between the council and young people in Renfrewshire and stressed the need for more young people to get involved. While Houston, Crosslee and Linwood Councilor Robert Innes wants to see a campaign by Renfrewshire Council and local groups to involve more young people in community groups and local charities.

Bruce MacFarlane, SNP Cllr for Paisley Southeast, said: “It’s fantastic that young people have these opportunities to get involved in projects that will benefit their community. It is important that young people lead the charge and have a voice. We need to do more to ensure that all of our young people in Renfrewshire know about the Celebrating Renfrewshire Fund and other youth initiatives and ensure they have the capacity to get involved. The motion asked Renfrewshire Council to explore how we engage more with young people.

“Young people have struggled, grown up through Tory austerity, sacrificed so much throughout the pandemic and now we have inherited a cost of living crisis. The least we can do is listen to what young people really want. Respect works both ways and if we want to engage with young people we need to continue to remove barriers so they can truly engage.

Robert Innes, SNP Cllr for Houston, Crosslee and Linwood, added: “The Celebrating Renfrewshire Fund was a brilliant idea and I am delighted that it is continuing. Renfrewshire Council has been ahead of the game on this and the most innovative ideas that come from young people in Renfrewshire are the best.

“The motion asks Renfrewshire Council to further explore youth engagement and collaboration with Renfrewshire Council. Ideally, I would like to see real momentum for more young people to get involved in local groups such as community councils, tenant and resident associations, development trusts and local charities. These groups are for all members of the community and I’m sure these groups would love to have more young people on board.

Main photo: Cllr Robert Innes (left) and Cllr Bruce MacFarlane (right)
Photo credit: Election campaign photographs of the respective councilors