District could become more ‘child friendly’

Halifax Town Hall
Halifax Town Hall

Calderdale Council will consider measures to make the borough a safer place for children and give them more of a say in how decisions are made.

Calderdale Cabinet members will next week make a decision on plans for the borough to gain Child Friendly status, an accreditation from children’s charity UNICEF.

If approved, the district would seek to meet 12 standards set by the charity including children being able to influence decisions about their area, express opinion on the area they want, be protected from exploitation, violence and abuse, and live in an unpolluted environment.

Calderdale Council’s cabinet member for Children and Young People’s Services, Coun 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.”

Further criteria for accreditation include children being able to participate in cultural and social events, and be an equal citizens of their area with access to every service, regardless of ethnic origin, religion, income, gender or disability.

The council said many of the standards were already in place. Young people in Calderdale speak at council, scrutiny panels and the Young People’s Assembly. If approved, young people would be required to comment on council services and make recommendations. Cabinet will meet at Halifax Town Hall, Monday August 8, 6pm.