Northern Midlands Council put youth at forefront

Janet Lambert

Janet Lambert

The Northern Midlands Council is looking to reinstate a youth officer.

At its May meeting, Councillor Janet Lambert moved a motion for council to consider employing a part-time youth officer in its upcoming budget.

The council also unanimously voted to maintain its existing services, which involve being partnered with Northern Joblink, in the budget for the upcoming financial year.

It also agreed to allocate $1000 for a community survey on the operation of youth services in the municipality and development of a youth strategy.

Cr Lambert said engaging youth in the community was “vitally important”. She identified a need to revisit the policy in greater detail when it was under review a the council’s April meeting.

“When our youth officer retired, things plateaued a little bit. When I saw the policy changing, I went through (the policy) and I just thought it was time for us to have a really detailed look at the policy,” Cr Lambert said.

“We need to have a look at what the good things are and what some of the things that we could improve on. But most importantly, go out into the community and find out what their needs are and what they want us to be doing in terms of our policy.”

Cr Lambert also suggested resource sharing with other councils.

“Some of the other council’s have really good strategies,” she said.

Councillors Mary Knowles and Michael Polley agreed with Cr Lambert and suggested looking at what facilities and programs are in place in other councils.

Cr Polley hoped the resource sharing idea would be followed through.

Councillor Andrew Calvert suggested holding discussions with other council’s youth officers to discuss what their policies consist of.  

“I think we should ask nearby councils to talk to surrounding youth officers and get them to present to our council,” he said.

The council will now revisit the policy at a workshop.

They will also discuss the results of the planned survey.

“I am passionate about our youth, these guys are our future leaders. There is no point having a policy if we’re not going to do the right thing by it and our community,” Cr Lambert said.