Nov 262012

With thanks to Kenneth Watt

Chair of Aberdeen City Youth Council Barry Black MSYP has recommended the Education, Culture & Sport Committee on Aberdeen City Council approves the creation of a Drugs Youth Worker role.

Barry told Aberdeen Voice:

“Our sister group, GRADE A (Get Real About Drugs Action Aberdeen), has worked tirelessly to improve drugs education in the city and has benefitted immensely from the support of our youth worker.

“An additional Drugs Action worker would make a huge contribution to the already excellent work being done on drugs education in the city.  We recommend the committee approve the funding for the position on the grounds of the benefit to young people.”

“We have a significant substance misuse issue with young people in the city and this is an issue that needs to be addressed.  We are above the average for substance misuse statistics1 and a full-time drugs education worker would help to contribute to the fight against drugs abuse in the city.”

 1 Statistical information on substance misuse can be found at 

Nov 232012

With thanks to Kenneth Watt

Aberdeen City Youth Council Chair Barry Black MSYP is delighted the Aberdeen City Council administration has outlined education as its focus for the coming five years.

Mr Black believes this promise creates a clear mandate for the youth council, the official voice of young people in Aberdeen, to work closely with councillors to ensure that school, college and university pupils are listened to and services tailored to suit the needs of the city’s 12-25 year-olds.

Mr Black told Aberdeen Voice:

“This is fantastic news for young people: there are no further cuts to teachers and a new school is going to be built.

“I will be keen to hear the views of young people on how the new budget can be tailored to their needs in schools and pass these on to our elected members.

“This spells out a clear mandate for us to increase our scrutiny of the administration. This news is very promising and we are delighted that they are taking education seriously.”

Nov 162012

With thanks to Kenneth Watt.

The Aberdeen City Youth Council says that schools’ communication must be improved before the Curriculum for Excellence can be achieved.

The Youth Council’s forum event took place on Saturday 10th November. It hosted over twenty youth groups and charities, as well as councillors, MSPs and MPs. This ‘Showcase Event’ aimed to highlight issues facing young people in the city and set the agenda for the Youth Council’s year ahead.

A question and answer session held with Councillors Jenny Laing and Ross Thomson, the Convenor and Vice-Convenor of the Education, Culture & Sport committee, allowed the 70-strong audience to quiz the pair.

Topics covered included future school provision, reviews taking place and how the committee is planning on listening to the views of young people in decisions it makes.

One issue highlighted by young people was that communication in schools can be incredibly poor, with head-teachers reluctant to allow pupils to go to events such as the Showcase for fear of ‘showing up’ flaws in their school. The Youth Council also discovered that only a handful of schools have a pupil council, something which the audience unanimously agreed should be compulsory.

Barry Black, chair, said:

“With schools adopting the Curriculum for Excellence over the next year, it strikes us as worrying that few schools will distribute invitations to charity events, or information on youth groups that can help schools in the city.”

“The fact that we had to go to the Acting Director for Education to get a reply from some schools for an event designed to listen to the concerns of pupils struck us as absurd.”

“How can schools embrace the Curriculum for Excellence if they’re not allowed to develop themselves outside of the classroom?”

Nov 092012

With thanks to Kenneth Watt.

Barry Black, Chair of the Aberdeen City Youth Council, described reported attacks on firefighters called out to incidents on Bonfire Night as ‘upsetting’ and a ‘cause for concern.

Barry said:

“The alleged attacks are extremely upsetting and have distressed everyone who respects and relies on the fire service. Although these attacks are extremely rare, it is concerning that people working to help those in danger are being subjected to such extreme violence.

“On the youth council we recognise that not all young people are involved in such events and that fireworks are generally enjoyable, but incidents like these cannot go unnoticed.

“We will be working with emergency services to see how we can forge better relationships between young people and police, fire and ambulance personnel.”

  • Comments enabled – see comments box below. Note, all comments will be moderated.


Oct 182012

With thanks to Kenneth Watt. 

A Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament says that Tuesday’s supreme court ruling gives the green light for next generation’s economic success.
Barry Black MSYP, the chair of the Aberdeen City Youth Council, said that future generations of Aberdonians have a better economic future guaranteed with the approval of the AWPR bypass route.

Barry said:

“It has been a long wait but I can speak for the majority of young people who are keen to see the region’s transport improved and make clear that we are glad of the decision made by the courts.

“It is key for the success of future generations that we have a viable and sound road infrastructure network in place.  Renewable energies will make up a significant sector in Aberdeen’s future employment market and good transport links are vital for this to succeed.

“For young people in the region – and their children and grandchildren – the AWPR will be a blessing and provide a 21st century roads system for the North East that is so necessary.”

  • Comments enabled – see comments box below. Note, all comments will be moderated.