Youth MPS add their voices to national debate

0
Have your say

West Sussex Youth MPs have added the voices of 2,466 young residents to a national consultation, which leads to a debate later this week of the UK Youth Parliament.

West Sussex Youth MPs have added the voices of 2,466 young residents to a national consultation, which leads to a debate later this week of the UK Youth Parliament.

The ‘Make Your Mark’ ballot paper asked young voters to decide between 15 topics, to be debated in the House of Commons by UK Youth Parliament Members on Friday November 23.

West Sussex Youth MPs (MYPs), supported by West Sussex County Council’s Youth Support and Development Services Voice and Engagement Team, gathered a total of 2,466 votes from West Sussex young people for their top issues.

The five top issues in West Sussex were:

* Better 16 – 19 bursaries (761 votes)

* Better, cheaper, accessible public transport (213 votes)

* Getting ready for work (174 votes)

* An equal national minimum wage for all (164 votes)

* Our minds matter (157 votes)

Shagass Pam (15), Deputy MYP for Crawley and East Grinstead, managed to get 1,578 ballots completed.

He said: “It was scary talking to people I had never met asking them to vote on their top issue. I think it was the fear of being ignored or turned away. I overcame this realising that young people’s voices were not going to get heard if I just stood there afraid. It was one of the most terrifying, but exiting things I did – truly a highlight of my year.”

Cabinet Member for Children and Families Peter Evans said: “A terrific well done to Shagass and our other MYPs and Deputy MYPs for all their work to get the voice of West Sussex young people heard at a national level.

“Out of the 338 Youth MPs and Deputies who submitted ballots, Shagass came 22nd in the whole of the UK, showing how well he interacted with young people and got their voices heard.”

More than 250,000 young people voted for issues across the UK. The top four topics to be debated nationally later this week are:

* Make public transport cheaper, better and accessible for all

* Getting ready for work

* Marriage for all

* An equal National Minimum Wage for all

* A fifth topic, A curriculum to prepare us for life, was chosen directly by Members of the Youth Parliament.

They will then vote on which one will be their campaign for the coming year.