Thursday, 11 September 2014

Young people need proper representation and more say over local EU programmes

Cornwall Council’s cabinet has urged the new bodies responsible for delivering local EU programmes to make sure they have proper representation from young people. They have also been urged to make the needs of young people are reflected in the schemes they support.

As part of the new round of EU structural funding, Cornwall will be setting up a new system of Local Action Groups (LAGS) to deliver a strand known as community led local development. These four LAGs will be overseeing 5% of the EU funding - some £24 million or more over the course of the scheme.

The good news is that the new LAGs will cover the whole of Cornwall rather than just bits of it. And the LAGs will be run by new boards made up of a mix of local town, parish and Cornwall councillors, representatives of the community and voluntary sector and of local businesses. One of the key aims is to make sure that these boards are truly representative.

Sadly, to date the boards are significantly lacking in young people. Yesterday the cabinet agreed that Cornwall Council should take on the role of 'accountable body' for the new LAGS to support their work. But we said that the LAGS should make it a key priority to do more to become properly representative. And we said that having proper representation from young people is urgent. We also need to ensure that the schemes that are supported by the LAGs include those which will benefit young people.

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