Children could soon be drafted in by Calderdale Council to help with top-level decision making.
Officials are looking at ways for youngsters to make comments and judgements about the services they receive as well as provide recommendations about improvements.
Under the new scheme, they would speak at council meetings, Scrutiny Panels and the Young People’s assembly.
Council members will discuss plans for Calderdale to seek Child Friendly status, an accreditation from children’s charity Unicef, at a Cabinet meeting on Monday (August 8).
The Child Friendly City initiative was launched by Unicef in 1996 and Child Friendly cities are now all over the world.
If approved by Cabinet, Calderdale would look to progress the idea of becoming a Child Friendly borough by working to achieve 12 standards set by Unicef based on improving children’s rights.
They include children being able to:
• Influence decisions about their city or town
• Express opinion on the area
• Be protected from exploitation, violence and abuse
• Live in an unpolluted environment
• Participate in cultural and social events
• Be an equal citizen of their city with access to every service, regardless of ethnic origin, religion, income, gender or disability
Many of the standards are already in place in Calderdale, but to achieve Child Friendly status, the council would have to demonstrate that it fully meets all the standards, showing that children’s rights are reflected in policies, laws, programmes and budgets.
Calderdale Council ’s Cabinet member for children and young people’s services, Clr Megan Swift, said: “We’re always looking for ways to engage with young people and they’re a key part of our vision for the council.
“By starting the process of becoming a Child Friendly borough, we would have clear goals to ensure we meet the needs of young people and their voice is heard and taken into consideration when making council decisions.”