Young people keen to make a difference are being encouraged to stand for election for two key groups in Wiltshire.
People aged 11 to 19 years can apply until Monday 16 November to be part of The Wiltshire Assembly of Youth (WAY) and the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) with elections for both being held in February 2016.
Young people involved in WAY and UKYP have played a key role representing their generation’s views to key decision makers within Wiltshire Council locally and also on the national stage.
As a member of WAY people are elected by other young people and commit to standing for one year, representing young people’s views to key decision makers within Wiltshire Council.
WAY representatives sit on a range of boards and forums to act as a voice for young people and influence change.
To stand for UKYP people will need to stand for WAY and commit to working locally as well as nationally. The post means championing young people’s issues at a national level and committing to stand for two years.
Cabinet member for children’s services Laura Mayes said: “Young people are often viewed as apathetic, not wishing to be involved in democracy, but Wiltshire’s young people have proven this is not the case. Our WAY members have an important role helping Wiltshire Council keep young people’s views at the heart of our decision making and I’d encourage young people to consider putting themselves forward for this important role.”
Chloe Lintern from Colerne and Freya Piggot from Devizes, both 17, are members of WAY and UKYP.
Chloe has recently been elected as one of the south west representatives on the UKYP’s Procedures Group which makes the decisions guiding the development of the organisation.
Chloe will be at the forefront of delivering campaigns and debates led by the parliament and in lobbying for social change on behalf of young people.
She said: “This is a super opportunity to voice the opinions of young people within UKYP so that the organisation reflects upon what they want. I’m excited to be working with an amazing group of young people across the country to organise events and deliver the campaigns in the next year.”
One of Chloe’s jobs has been organising the annual House of Commons debate. For one day only the chamber is taken over by the UK’s elected members of UKYP.
This Friday (November 13), Freya Piggot from Devizes will be leading one of the five debates taking place. Freya gave an impassioned speech in front of south west members of the UKYP to gain the vote to become the south west lead.
The debates will be screened live at www.ukyouthparliament.org.uk/news/youth-parliament-have-a-magna-mandate-to-debate-top-issues-for-young-people-in-commons-chambers.
People interested in putting themselves forward for election can find more detail at http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/communityandliving/wiltshireassemblyyouthparliament.htm