Councillors have welcomed the success of participatory budgeting for young people in Renfrewshire.

The Celebrating Renfrewshire Fund has seen young people work together to deliver projects throughout Renfrewshire.

Councillor’s Bruce MacFarlane and Robert Innes’ motion asked that Renfrewshire Council continue to offer support to Renfrewshire’s young people and to remove barriers to all young people participating in local initiatives.

The motion asked that the council explore options for more youth engagement and collaboration with Renfrewshire Council and the democratic and decision-making process.

The Council is due to launch its 2022/23 Celebrating Renfrewshire funding scheme shortly which will be available across all Local Partnership areas in Renfrewshire.

Renfrewshire Councils Community Learning and Development team support young people through the process with a steering group of young people brought together each year the funding is released.

A representative group of young people consult and debate what the themes of the funding criteria should be each year to ensure the fund is meeting the needs of young people in Renfrewshire communities. Young people who have been part of the steering group from previous years are invited to share their experience as well as working with new members to develop and learn new skills.

Bruce welcomed the collaboration between the council and Renfrewshire’s young people and has highlighted the need for more young people to get involved. While Houston, Crosslee and Linwood councillor Robert Innes wants to see a drive from Renfrewshire Council and local groups to get more young people involved with community groups and local charities.

Bruce MacFarlane, SNP Cllr for Paisley Southeast, said: “It is fantastic that young people have these opportunities to get involved in projects that will benefit their community. It’s important that young people lead from the front and have a voice. We need to do more to make sure all of our young people in Renfrewshire know about the Celebrating Renfrewshire Fund as well as other initiatives for young people and make sure they have the ability to get involved. The motion asked Renfrewshire Council to explore how we engage further with young people.”

“Young people have had it rough, growing up through Tory austerity, sacrificing so much throughout the pandemic and now we have inherited a cost of living crisis. The least we can do is listen to what young people actually want. Respect works both ways and if we want to engage with young people we need to keep removing barriers so that they can actually get involved.”

Robert Innes, SNP Cllr for Houston, Crosslee and Linwood, added: “The Celebrating Renfrewshire Fund has been a brilliant idea and I’m pleased to see it continuing. Renfrewshire Council has been ahead of the game on this and the more innovative ideas that come from Renfrewshire’s young people the better.”

“The motion asks Renfrewshire Council to explore more youth engagement and collaboration with Renfrewshire Council. Ideally I would like to see a real drive for more young people to be involved with local groups such as Community Councils, Tenants and Residents Associations, Development Trusts and local charities. These groups are for everyone in the community and I’m sure that these groups would love to have more young people on board.”

Headline photo: Cllr Robert Innes (left) and Cllr Bruce MacFarlane (Right)
Photo Credit: Election campaign photographs from respective councillors