Felixstowe youngsters give their views

YOUNGSTERS from Felixstowe are having their views heard and playing an active role in getting better facilities for their peers.The project - run by the town council - is reaping huge benefits for the children of the resort, who for years complained that no-one was listening to them.

YOUNGSTERS from Felixstowe are having their views heard and playing an active role in getting better facilities for their peers.

The project - run by the town council - is reaping huge benefits for the children of the resort, who for years complained that no-one was listening to them.

Now representatives from schools around the town meet with councillors and officials for regular frank but friendly round-the-table discussions, and their views are being taken into account.

Since the project began a few years ago - the idea of then mayor Marion Pettit - plans for a skateboard park have been advanced, extra litter bins provided on school routes, playparks improved, and youngsters have listed their needs, and given opinions on many issues and ideas.

Some of their concerns have been put forward to the consultants compiling the Felixstowe masterplan for the future of the town.

Town clerk Susan Robinson said the project - which has just started a new programme of meetings for the new academic year - had been very successful.

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“When it started the idea was to involve the young people in local government by meeting with them so we could hear their views but also so they could understand how councils worked, how they had to plan and how sometimes things took time,” she said.

“The young people have been tremendously enthusiastic and have really enjoyed the meetings.

“They now take charge of the meetings by chairing them and dictating the agenda.

“They can see that we are concerned to hear their views and I think the meetings have been very valuable and the project a remarkable success.”

Youngsters from Deben and Orwell High schools have been regularly involved in the meetings, but also younger children from Causton Junior and Colneis Junior schools.

Regular contributors have also included staff from the Level 2 youth project in the town, and also leisure officers from Suffolk Coastal District Council.

This year they have also met Hannah Brennan, 12, from Felixstowe, a member of the UK Youth Parliament to talk about how the parliament works and what it does.

N What do you think should be done to improve facilities for youngsters? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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