Posted: Wednesday 29th November 2017
Hertfordshire’s Young Commissioners, along with students from North Herts College and young people from the Children in Care Council shared their views on the county council budget and took part in a budget survey quiz at County Hall last Friday, 24November, as part of Takeover Day.
Takeover Day is a national initiative, led by YC Hertfordshire locally, which puts children and young people into decision making positions and encourages organisations to hear their views. This year, 22 young people took part in the day and 15 of those were quizzed about budget allocations for different services. They then discussed what they think our priorities should be for the next financial year.
The quiz revealed that some of the group thought we had allocated £42 million to Children’s Services in the 2017/18 budget; however we have actually assigned £103.6 million.
Another group thought we had allocated £42 million to early years and education services, but it was in fact £62.7 million for the 2017/18 financial year.
The majority of the group thought we should spend more on our services which keep Hertfordshire residents safe, including social care for Adults and Children and Community Protection. The areas the group felt we should reduce our spending included waste, highways and transport, libraries and other community services and there were suggestions on how savings could be made across these departments. There was divided opinion on whether we should reduce or increase the budget for council support services, and suggestions that HCC look at how budgets are divided and the different responsibilities services have.
Alex James, Head of Corporate Policy, said: “We value feedback from all people in Hertfordshire, but the youth’s voices are often unheard. This event is a great way to get the opinions of the younger generation who don’t always have a say.”
If you live in Hertfordshire, you can also share your opinion in the budget survey. The online survey closes on Sunday 17 December.
For more information on enabling young people to have their say visit ychertfordshire.org