Make Your Mark Campaign Update

Date of Meeting:

8th November 2021

Report of:

Executive Director for Families, Children and Learning

Contact Officer:


Tracie James





Ward(s) affected:

All Wards






1.1      The purpose of this report is to provide an update on progress made towards the

     city’s Make Your Mark campaign.


2.         RECOMMENDATIONS     


2.1         That the Committee note the progress made by the Youth Council towards the local Make Your Mark Campaign that aims to protect the environment and reduce plastic waste




3.1       The British Youth Council is the National Youth Council of the UK. It is a youth-led charity that aims to empower young people to influence and inform the decisions that affect their lives.

3.2       Every year the UK youth parliament (managed by the British Youth Council) organises a Make Your Mark ballot for 11-18 year olds across the UK to have their say and begin their democratic journey by voting on the policies they want to introduce or change. The issues that are voted as the most important will be the focus of the UK Youth Parliament’s and local 2021 campaigns. It is supported by Local Authorities, schools, UK Parliament, and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.

3.3       Brighton and Hove had a much lower turnout than previous years; 382 (1.67%) of the total population compared to 2019 where 1027 young people voted.


3.4       The ballot in November 2020 usually takes place in secondary schools but due to the pandemic this took place on-line. This is a likely contributory factor to the lower take up by young people.


3.5       The 2020 results placed protecting the environment and reducing plastic waste; free tuition fees; and better mental health support as being the top 3 priorities for young people.


3.6       Brighton and Hove’s Youth Council has focussed their campaign on reducing plastic waste and usage in the city.


3.7       Youth Council members have been supported to contribute to the Youth Climate Assembly. They have engaged with various local Councillors and environmental professionals on the topic of transport and making the city carbon neutral by 2030. The young people’s recommendations were then fed back to a panel of Councillors and experts, which was chaired by the Leader of the Council. These views and ideas were incorporated in the report of the city’s main climate assembly.


3.8       One Youth Council member co-hosted two successful Zoom Q&A sessions on the climate emergency with all 3 local MP’s, as well as some Councillors, including the Leader of the Council  ( One of the sessions was aimed at schools and was well attended by pupils, whilst the other was for the council officers and the public.


3.9       The Youth Council helped to organise an on-line Youth Climate Assembly, that involved local school aged children.  Approximately 50 young people from across the city attended.  The recommendations were forwarded to the Council’s Climate Assembly.


3.10    Local businesses have been contacted and were invited to attend a discussion workshop session in April hosted by the Youth Council. The criteria for the Green Leaf Award were developed based on advice from local businesses.


3.11    The Youth Council are keen to introduce a ‘Green Leaf’ Award for businesses that meet the criteria. They would like an award with varying levels, similar to the food hygiene 1-5 scheme or Bronze, Silver & Gold levels for businesses to aim for and recognised for their efforts. There could be 5 key areas for assessing main points, with sub-headings to meet under these, for example:


1.    Packaging – more loose produce on display, less plastic wrapping used, more reusable bags as an alternative to plastic carrier ones.

2.    Transport & Source – reducing the carbon footprint of their goods, how far is it being delivered from and how is it transported, what process is used to create the product and is the manufacturer eco-friendly.

3.    Community minded – what is the business doing to contribute to the community, in terms of fundraising, helping local people or charities, running environmental workshops.

4.    Raising awareness of the environment – publicly highlighting climate and environmental issues, as well as showing what can be done to help.

5.    Returning customer base – showing proof that people can and are coming back to their store/website, by offering some sort of incentive /reward scheme, e.g. offering re-fills if people bring in empty containers or offer an option to recycle an old piece of clothing.

Criteria needs to be created to give businesses clear guidance of how to achieve a Green Leaf sticker to go in a shop window or on their website.


3.12    Colleagues from City Environment have been working with seafront

           businesses to reduce single use plastic usage and reduce litter. They will

           be attending the Youth Council meeting in November to discuss ways of

           working together.


3.13    In August 2021 the Youth Council members were joined by the lead member for Children and the Executive Director for Families Children & Learning to do a beach clean in Hove. They were also joined by youth council members from Epping Forest, who were keen to assist and very much enjoyed their visit. Many bags of rubbish were collected, and a positive experience was had by all.


3.14    Sixteen young people attended a Youth Council Induction Day in October, representing ten different school and colleges. The Youth Councillors learnt how decisions are made in the Council and how they can have an impact on ensuring young people’s voices are heard. They took part in team building and collaborative exercises to get to know each other and become aware of the skills they will develop as a Youth Councillor. In addition, the Youth Councillors took part in a workshop led by Transport Planning; this enabled them to feed their views into the Local Transport Plan and Local Cycling and Walking infrastructure plan for the city.


3.15    There are a total of 23 Youth Councillors who are very keen to represent young people’s voice in the city.


3.16    The next National Make Your Mark campaign has been delayed due to Covid and will now take place in February 2022 The Youth Council are meeting in November 2021 to plan for this. 




4.1         The Youth Council have worked hard to raise the profile of their 2020/21 Make Your Mark campaign and actively contributed to the Council’s Climate Assembly and have put forward a creative proposal to reduce plastic waste and usage, the Green Leaf scheme. 


4.2         To progress the Youth Council’s initiative, support from other Council departments is necessary, e.g., Communications Team, project management.




5.1         The Youth Council have engaged a number of young people, local businesses, City Environment and Councillors to assist with their campaign to reduce plastic waste in the city.


5.2         The turnout for Brighton & Hove’s 2020 Make Your Mark campaign was significantly reduced compared to previous years due to the impact of Covid.


5.3         The Youth Council intend to strengthen links with schools to raise the profile

of the Youth Council and current campaign.


6.            CONCLUSION


6.1         The Youth Council have made significant progress with their campaign and are motivated to progress their Green Leaf initiative.


6.2         The Youth Council acknowledge the low turnout in last year’s Make Your Mark campaign and are planning to ensure that next February’s turnout is significantly increased to enable more young people in the city to have a voice in identifying their key priorities.





Financial Implications:


7.1       There are no direct financial implications arising from the recommendations of this report. However, there may be resource implications for specific Council departments to support the progress of the Green Leaf campaign


            Finance Officer Consulted:     David Ellis                                     Date: 26/10/21


Legal Implications:


7.3       There are no direct legal implications arising from this report as it is for noting only.



            Lawyer Consulted:                   Name Sandra O’Brien                 Date: 29/10/2021




Equalities Implications:








British Youth Council, Make Your Mark 2020 report


Documents in Members’ Rooms:  None    Background Documents:  No