Threatened Youth Council members launch new Fenland Youth Community Council - and they’re going it alone this time

PUBLISHED: 14:24 20 March 2017 | UPDATED: 14:25 20 March 2017

The Fenland Community Youth Council, which launched in Wisbech on March 15. The council hopes to represent and communicate the voices of young people in the Fenland area. PHOTO: Seb Pearce

The Fenland Community Youth Council, which launched in Wisbech on March 15. The council hopes to represent and communicate the voices of young people in the Fenland area. PHOTO: Seb Pearce

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Fenland District Youth Council has been given a big face-lift – and is hoping to reach out into the community and give young people a voice in political matters as an independent group for the first time in its 11-year history.

Chairman Megan Dunthorne and former chairman Ben Martin at the launch of the Fenland Community Youth Council in Wisbech. PHOTO: Seb Pearce Chairman Megan Dunthorne and former chairman Ben Martin at the launch of the Fenland Community Youth Council in Wisbech. PHOTO: Seb Pearce

The group of Fenland students has been re-born as the Fenland Youth Community Council (FCYC), and hosted a launch event at the Boathouse in Wisbech on March 15.

FCYC decided to re-launch last year after Fenland District Council decided to withdraw all funding into the group - which they believed was costing them over £56,000 a year – in a bid to save money.

That figure was contested by the group’s chairman at the time, Ben Martin, who said the cost of running the group was actually nearer to half that – around £33,700.

The decision to distance the group from Fenland Council was then taken and new chairman, Megan Dunthorne, has set her sights on leading the group to a successful future.

“We’re an independent, youth-led organisation and our aims are to help and ensure that the young people of Fenland have a voice on issues that directly affect them,” she said.

“We’re keen to support youth groups in Fenland and are going to be setting up a scheme where we are able to offer our time to groups who may have specific projects or activities which we could help organise and run.

“We have 20,000 young people in the area and we want to represent and communicate their views and make people aware of what young people are doing.”

The FCYC has hit the ground running and has already been offered a seat on the Fenland Community Safety Partnership.

“This means we will be able to contribute to a range of initiatives aimed at making Fenland a safer place to live,” said Megan.

“We are also going to be working closely with the existing school councils and we are a member of the British Youth Council which helps to make sure that the young people of Fenland are represented at a national level.”

Despite continuing as an independent group, the FCYC will consult with Fenland District Council on its business plan.

Fenland District Councillor, Michelle Tanfield, said: “The FCYC have done a fantastic job and they have really stepped up in continuing the group after their troubles last year.

“They will go from strength to strength and I’m so proud of them all.”

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