Wed 12 May 2004
Councillor Timmy Conway founded the Youth Parliament in 1997. He came up with the idea based on the youth parliaments he was introduced to upon his stay in America. The parliaments there are; allowed pass legislation that is applicable to the youth thus giving them an interest in politics and a means by which they can have their say in issues that affect them. Timmy thought the idea so good he adopted it himself.
How meetings are conducted
The Parliament meets every Monday in the local town hall. The secretary based on the minutes from the last meeting documents the agenda of the meeting. A copy of both the minutes of the last meeting and the current agenda is passed to each member. The meeting normally based on the agenda. Once the agenda has been dealt with members of the parliament are asked to suggest new ideas and report on issues they feel the youth of the town would be most concerned with.
Sub Committee Meetings:
These meetings are to arrange a town clean up, disco's etc. The sub committee arranges a time and venue to suit the members of that sub committee. They have the power to co-opt other students to assist them. The parliament consists of various representatives from each school listed as follows:
- St. Mary's Convent
- Naas Christian Brothers
- Community College
Election of Youth Parliament
Election to the Youth Parliament is for a period of two years, beginning at the Transition year and carrying on to the year before the students sit their Leaving Certificate. The reason for the two-year period is that members found the first year strange and it takes time for them to operate as a group. They often make life long friends during this time. Their fellow classmates elect representatives from the local schools. Elections operate the same system as in State and Local elections.
Election of Officers
The position of Chairperson rotates from school to school and it is up to the Parliament's representatives in the particular school to choose the chairperson. Positions of Secretary and Treasurer go to the other schools and are elected using the same procedure. There are sub committees for drug awareness, discos, litter etc. Members are also involved in the Town Council's sub committees. There are two youth members on the Town Twinning Committee. At important meetings of the town Council, Youth Parliament members are invited to attend.
Frequency of Meetings
Meetings are held every week for forty-five minutes during lunch brake. These meetings are strict and complete the business. A detail of meetings is recorded as per the attached.
As recognition of the importance of the Youth Parliament, the Town Council voted to make available the Chamber for their meetings. Members take their places at the same table the Town Council carry out their deliberations.