Youth power!

GARSTANG is gearing up for youth power - with an invitation and challenge to the town’s young people to have their voice in community affairs.

A youth advisory group is being formed among 12 to 18-year-olds - with the backing of Garstang town council - which wants to hear what the up and coming generation of Garstonians thinks.

Leading the project is former town mayoress Coun Lynn Harter who is pleased with the progress so far.

The advisory group will be drawn from Garstang Academy’s youth council as well as pupils of high school age who attend schools outside the town.

Scouts, guides, church youth groups and Garstang Youth Club will also be represented.

Although it is in the early stages, the youth group/panel would meet regularly and feed its ideas into Garstang town council.

Coun Harter said from initial soundings it was likely that the group would meet fortnightly, probably at a commercial venue in Garstang centre.

She said: “The group would also welcome being actively involved in community projects, particularly engaging with older people, police, rangers etc., and could even host their own webpage on Garstang.net”

Coun Harter said from her initial soundings young people in Garstang were keen to promote a positive image, particularly in the media.

She said: “I am trying to harness the initial enthusiasm, so we don’t lose the young people after the first two or three meetings.”

She also hopes some of the youth panel will be up and running by early next year, and that some members would attend occasional meetings of Garstang town council.

She added: “I think this would be a very constructive and informal way of the group getting to know all the councillors, and vice versa.”

Coun Harter has already started to attend meetings of Garstang Youth Club, held in the basement of the old Discovery Centre, to chat to teenagers and listen to their ideas and concerns.

Anyone aged between 12 and 18 who is interested in joining the panel should contact Coun Harter on 01995 606404. Or email her at lynnharter1@aol.co.uk

And it isn’t just 12 to 18 year olds who are being encouraged to learn more about civic and community participation.

Town mayor Coun Dulcie Atkins, alogn with deputy mayor Coun Sandra Perkins, and Coun Harter have recently launched what they hope will be annual visits to Garstang’s three local primary schools explaining about the work of the council (See story, page 13).