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You are in: Stoke & Staffordshire Features »
2004
Staffordshire young teens get the chance to help run the country
Youth Parliament MPs
MPs confer!
Teens went head to head this month in order to get a place on the UK Youth Parliament.
Seven young "MP"s have been voted in to represent the local area.... but will they make any difference?
Kirsty Shaw reports for us.
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A national charity is giving a chance for 11- 18 year olds to represent their local area, on a Youth Parliament.
The youth parliament is a fairly new idea brought forward by the government; it aims to give young people their say about political matters.

Waste of time?
Great concept?
Have your say on the UKYP idea

Will this new idea encourage more young voters, or will leave them indifferent?

The work of the UKYP
In July 1999 the House of Commons launched the chance for young people to get their ideas heard; this meant they set up a youth parliament.

This gives the chance for a group of teens, selected by their local area, to put their ideas forward on how Britain should be run.

After the UKYP members are chosen in their local areas (see local MPs) the parliament meet once a year nationally, for a three-day conference, to discuss topics and issues.

At the moment they are supporting many issues; these include the vote to be lowered to 16 and they have just received a grant to help get more transport to rural areas throughout Britain.

Does it work?
I remember when Youth Parliament was brought into my school a few years ago…

While I was at school it started to be publicised. At first it was new and exciting proposal that seemed like a great idea.
However I had always had reservations about how much the youth parliament would be heard.

I think that the Youth Parliament may have quite a substantial effect on their local areas, but I am unsure of the impact they will have on a national scale.
This is because the Youth Parliament is not supported by the government financially; instead the UKYP is a charity that is funded through fund raisers and donations.

But, many local government councillors are very optimistic about the effects the youth parliament, so it's interesting to hear what these (older!) people have to say...

"..It will help young people put their opinions across at local, regional and national level.
I am thrilled so many young people stood for election and delighted for the successful candidates.
I look forward to working with them over the next 12 months and wish them well with the experience."

Leader of Staffordshire County Council, Terry Dix

MPs
UKYP members in our area are:
• Newcastle and the Staffordshire Moorlands 14 year old Chris Barker from Cheadle
• Stafford/Stone and South Staffordshire 15 year old Laura McQuillan from Stafford
• East Staffordshire and Tamworth 15 year old Sarah Williams from Tamworth
• Chase/Lichfield 15 year old Sarah James from Cannock
• Cheshire Becki Tomkins from Neston; Hugo McCorkell from
Knutsford; and Liam Wyatt from Congleton

Final Thought
The Youth Parliament, although it has only been established for 3 years, has supported any projects.
I hope that it continues to be this way and that the young people are able to get their views across.

If you would like to make a donation to the Youth Parliament contact them via e-mail at support@democracyforyoungpeople.co.uk or visit their website where you can make a donation on-line.
Kirsty Shaw

If you want to contact your local candidate e-mail them mail@ukyouthparliament.org.uk
or write to them
at UKYP Central Office, 7 Anstice Square, Madeley, Telford, Shropshire TF7 5BD

Add the name of your "MP" at the top.

 

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