Town Council teams up with De Montfort University for analysis to engage with younger Northampton residents

The university students will be conducting interviews, workshops and focus groups to gather views from young people

By Carly Odell
Wednesday, 16th February 2022, 11:52 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th February 2022, 12:09 pm

Northampton Town Council has announced a partnership with De Montfort University, Leicester to help the authority engage with younger residents.

The council welcomed Professor Steven Griggs and eight students to The Guildhall to embark on its community needs analysis.

As part of a focus on youth, students from the Department of Politics, People and Place and the Local Governance Research Centre at De Montfort University will be conducting interviews, workshops and focus groups with young people in Northampton.

Students visited The Guildhall to begin the partnership with Northampton Town Council.

The aim of the analysis is to find out young people’s views on the town, which will then feed into the town council’s analysis as it looks to build its own strategy.

Councillor Jane Birch, chair of the Town Council’s Community Services Committee that is leading the analysis said: “We as a new town council have ambitions to enhance the lives of all our residents, and our early focus is on the young people in the town.

“But first we need to find out what young people are saying, what they think can be done to improve the town and their prospects.

“Young people talk more openly and relate better to their peers, and the collaborative approach we are taking on this has benefits for all of us.

“As we move onto other areas of the community we hope we can mirror some of the methods used to engage with them.”

During their first visit, the team from De Montfort met with colleagues at the University of Northampton, councillors and youth workers to hear from them how the town council and De Montfort can use their networks to engage with as many young people as possible.

Professor Steven Griggs from De Montfort University added: “This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to put their learning into action and support the journey of a new town council.

“We hope to start conducting our research and interviews in the coming months with a report going to the town council later this year.

“However, we are keen to highlight that this is ongoing commitment and we hope to continue to work with the town council as they develop and evolve their community needs analysis in the coming years.”

The agreement with De Montfort means that the research is carried out at no charge to the town council.

Anybody who is interested in this project and who may be able to assist should contact the town clerk Stuart Carter [email protected]