YOUNG people in Darlington have been given the chance to speak about some of the issues facing their generation.

Members of the Children and Young People’s (CYP) Collective, which brings together youths from schools and colleges across the town, highlighted a lack of safe places for teenagers to congregate and the low number of ‘positive’ activities.

The CYP Collective was established to give young people access to representatives from Darlington Borough Council and Darlington Police and to give them a voice on local matters.

The meeting was attended by Ron Hogg, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Durham, who was joined by Chief Inspector Chris Reeves, from Darlington Police.

Issues raised with Mr Hogg and Ch Insp Reeves included young people being moved on by police for standing in groups, without having anywhere else to go, and questions about whether police officers could come into school to meet students and talk about neighbourhood issues.

Coun Cyndi Hughes, member for children and young people at the council, said: “The young people who attended were able to articulate concerns that they and their friends have. Ron Hogg was very positive and responsive and has even offered to come to Darlington on a Friday evening to meet with young people. The discussion was very positive."

The meeting also discussed priorities for action in Darlington, including a presentation on welfare reform, youth unemployment, and changes to tuition fees which will have an impact on young people. Coun Hughes added: “The CYP Collective is determined to help the young people of Darlington to make their views known. This meeting has gone some way to listening to the voice of youth. We have made a commitment to engaging with children and young people to get their views on the main issues facing us as a community.”