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Plymouth young people urged to stand for Youth Parliament election
10:20am Saturday 6th October 2012 in Devon
Young people in the Plymouth area who have strong opinions on local issues are being encouraged to stand as a candidate in the next Plymouth UK Youth Parliament election.
Cabinet member for children and young people, Councillor Nicky Williams, is calling for young people to make their voices heard and in return Plymouth City Council will support them to deliver their campaign promises as part of the Annual Youth Challenge.
She said: “We promised that we would help young people to make a difference in the city and we’re doing that by launching our Annual Youth Challenge. This is the name we’ve given to the support we promise to provide to our UKYP members and their deputies.”
Candidates need to be aged between 11 and 18 years old and go to school or live in Plymouth. There is no cost involved and knowledge of politics is not necessary just a wish to make Plymouth a better place for young people to live and work.
It aims to give the voice of young people the chance to be heard by local and national government. It has been running since 1999 and has over 500 young people in its national membership.
Plymouth young people vote for two Members of Youth Parliament and two Deputy Members of Youth Parliament in January each year. Last year boasted the largest voting turnout since UKYP elections began, when over 3,200 cast a vote for their preferred candidate.
The difference this year will be the added support from the council as part of the Annual Youth Challenge, which will dedicate officer time and funding to ensure that UKYP members have the skills and means to help them deliver on their manifesto pledges.
A pot of £5,000 will be set aside annually to support UKYP members, an expert advisory group for members has been established with Councillors Williams and Taylor, and services will be made available for UKYP members to call upon including training courses, design and print services and web support.
Councillor Williams urged young people to put their names down as possible candidates.
She said: “You don’t need any particular skills or experience to become a UKYP member. You just need to be passionate about helping to make a difference and it also helps to be a good listener so that you can represent the views of your fellow young people.
“Not only will you be doing something positive for other young people, but if you are fortunate enough to be elected as a member, you’ll also get some fantastic training opportunities and skills and experience that will be fantastic for your CVs.”
The deadline for registering as a candidate is November 30. The Council’s Youth Service will then work with the candidates throughout December and January to produce their manifestos before Election Day on January 26 next year.
To represent Plymouth’s young people and stand in this year’s election, or for more information, contact Sarah Heffernan, UK Youth Parliament Coordinator on 01752 308839 or 07818 511378 or email firstname.lastname@example.org