Buses and waste on youth agenda

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CREATING greater awareness of bus discounts and ID cards, minimising waste and increasing recycling are key concerns among young people according to a countywide survey.

These and other transport and environment issues were top of the agenda as members of the East Sussex Youth Cabinet met key political decision makers recently.

The meeting with various East Sussex County Council officers and councillors and local MPs Stephen Lloyd, Greg Barker, Amber Rudd and Norman Baker, followed the completion of a countywide survey of young people.

In that survey, carried out between January and March, the Youth Cabinet wanted to hear the views of young people on a range of issues relating to the environment and transport in the county.

A total of 2,514 young people from 25 schools and colleges submitted their views.

Held at Bishop Bell School in Eastbourne, the meeting with senior decision makers focused on discussing the survey and began the process of looking at ways of addressing the issues raised.

James Davies from the Youth Cabinet said, “This was a big survey on issues that really matter.

“It has given us a much clearer idea of some of the key concerns among young people and of some issues they would like us to address.

“We were really pleased to meet with the MPs and the County Council and it is something we would like to see repeated in the future.

“It’s great that people who make decisions are listening and want to hear our views. We really hope that this will make a difference.”

Among the key findings from the survey was the fact that while more than 70 per cent of young people do use public transport, a large number were not aware of the various public transport discount schemes that are available to them.

On environmental issues young people were most concerned about minimising waste, getting more rubbish recycled and exploring renewable energy options.

The Youth Cabinet have looked at ways to promote more awareness and action in schools, such as through involving pupils in monitoring their school’s carbon footprint, and using the ‘Carbon Hub’, a software tool available to secondary schools for monitoring and reducing energy usage.

The full findings of the questionnaire are available at www.connexions360.org.uk/youthcabinet

Cllr Colin Belsey, the County Council’s Lead Member for Children and Families, said, “I’m delighted to see young people getting involved in these issues and doing something constructive to make a difference. “The Youth Cabinet is doing a great job examining issues that matter to young people and then making sure the voice of young people is listened to by those in positions of responsibility.”

The Youth Cabinet will now look at ways it can address the issues raised by the survey.

However, it is already planning a campaign to raise awareness of and promote transport ID and discounts and will be meeting with bus providers in the county.