SINCE my last column we have now met for the first time as the Welsh Youth Parliament over a three day period.

It was a fantastic occasion which drew young people together from all sorts of backgrounds all over Wales.

Before getting down to deciding our work priorities for the year, the evening was spent getting to know each other as members of the Youth Parliament.

This gave us a chance to understand what motivated us to be here and to understand and respect the fact that we each have a different view of the world, shaped by our diverse life experiences and backgrounds.

It may sound obvious that we need to appreciate each other’s perspectives in order to better work with each other, but it remains the sad fact that such a simple yet beneficial exercise is never carried out in the ‘real’ adult world of politics.

Such important attempts at understanding each other generally only happen after there has been conflict.

However, it’s important to cast a critically friendly eye on the Youth Parliament too.

The priorities that we decided to focus on were, plastic waste, mental health and the curriculum.

All very well you might say; but unless we come up with informed and creative ideas then we haven’t done our job.

It’s also unclear as to what happens afterwards.

Does a very nice man or woman in a posh suit turn up and pat us on the head only to put our nice ideas on their fridge or will they actually do something with them?

It remains to be seen – however, accountability is really important and I am grateful to the Barry and District News for enabling me to be accountable to the people who elected me.

Speaking of accountability, you may recall that I wrote last month to the minister responsible for the environment for an update regarding the Environmental Impact Assessment.

I have yet to receive a response...