The British Youth Council are delighted to welcome new charities minister, Nigel Huddleston MP, who will take on responsibility for youth policy at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport following the departure of Baroness Barran MBE who has been in charge of the brief since November 2018 and has moved to the Department for Education in the latest reshuffle. The reshuffle also comes shortly after the closure of the Office for Civil Society which will now form part of the Civil Society and Youth Directorate within the department.
Commenting on the appointment of the new minister, Sarah Staples, Chair of British Youth Council said: “The British Youth Council are looking forward to working with the new minister to ensure young people’s voices remain at the heart of government decision making.
“Young people are passionate about seeing social and political change in the UK so we’ll continue to work with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to ensure young people’s voices are heard and their concerns are addressed.”
The charity, which is led by young people, will write to welcome the Minister to the new role, however, it will also reiterate its concerns for the size of the brief which will include other responsibilities. It is the organisation’s long-standing belief that the Government should appoint a Minister solely responsible for young people. Successive Governments have ignored cross-party support for the reintroduction of the role which has been vacant since 2010.
Osaro Otobo, Deputy Chair of the British Youth Council said: “We’ve made repeated attempts with successive governments, to make the case for a dedicated Minister for Young People.
“The brief has become much bigger again under this new appointment so we’ll continue to request further reassurances that the size of the brief won’t result in young people’s priorities being ignored. It cannot be right that policy relating to young people will be coupled with so many other departmental priorities.”
We will also use this as an opportunity to highlight the most important issues facing young people living in the UK. The British Youth Council has been highlighting the climate emergency, continued child poverty, lowering the voting age to 16 and mental health since the last general election. The British Youth Council have worked under various government departments since 2011 to deliver the UK Youth Parliament programme, which is currently supported by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The programme aims to give young people the opportunity to influence public decision-making at a local and national level through democratic representation.