Town Council Hosts Inaugural Student Congress

Henley Town Council hosted a Student Congress on Tuesday with Gillotts School and Henley College representatives at the Town Hall.

The event, spearheaded by Councillor Tony Hoskins, welcomed six students aged between 12-14, accompanied by the Assistant Head from Gillotts School and a representative from the Henley College Student Union.

In attendance were Councillors from Henley Town Council (HTC) plus South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC), and Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) alongside Town Clerk, Sheridan Jacklin-Edward and Communications Manager, Daisy Smith.

Gillotts School Student Council presented six innovative ideas to the student population from which they voted to create a top 3 to present at the meeting. From 520 respondents, the top three ideas highlighted were:

  1. Improving Outdoor Facilities for youth at Mill Meadows
  2. Revitalised Youth Centre
  3. Subsidised cinema tickets

The students eloquently articulated their proposals, which were met with thoughtful inquiries from attending councillors and council staff.

Following the lively exchange, it was decided that the proposals would be further deliberated at the upcoming Recreation and Amenities meeting, as well as Town and Communities sessions.

Councillor Tony Hoskins expressed his gratitude for the engagement and innovation showcased by the students, stating, “The quality of the presentations by Gillotts and College students were very impressive.”

Gillotts Assistant Head, Matthew Druce, said “Gillotts students spent a great deal of time considering the ideas, and then preparing themselves to present these ideas to the Council. We are hopeful that we can continue to work with both Henley College and the Town Council in the coming years to enhance the opportunities for the younger population of Henley.”

Pupil Antonio, Year 7 said, “I applied after we were sent an email about it at school.  My friends were doing so I thought I would apply and I think it is good for the community and the school. I think the outdoor gym would be a good fun way to get fit and be more active. Makins where the outdoor gym is doesn’t have a great reputation.  I would definitely use the subsidised cinema tickets and I think having a youth centre would be good if it had a table football, ping pong table and a chill out area.”

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