Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Your Right – Your Vote: Young people needed to shape their local area


Young people who want to influence the key decisions affecting under-19s in the borough, are being urged to stand for election as one of Richmond upon Thames’ representatives on the UK Youth Parliament or as their local Youth Councillor.

For the first time ever, along with the Youth Parliament Member elections, young people can stand as their local area representative on the borough’s Youth Council.

Both the UK Youth Parliament and local Youth Council aim to provide young people with a greater understanding of the democratic process and empower them to participate in society as active, informed and responsible citizens.

Candidates can put themselves forward for either position, with nominations running until 30 November 2012. Those elected will be supported by Richmond Youth Service and receive a high standard of training to equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to run campaigns and debates on behalf of local young people to ensure their views are listened to by decision makers.

All elected candidates will serve for a two year term.

Cllr Christine Percival, Strategic Cabinet Member for Education, Youth and Children’s Services on Richmond Council, said:

“With so many changes happening in national and local government, this is the perfect time for young people who are passionate about local issues to put themselves forward as the spokespeople for their generation. Theses roles carry a big responsibility, but with that there is the chance to have a real impact on decision-making.

“I am pleased that for the first time ever we will also have a democratically elected Youth Council, ensuring that members are representative of the whole borough.

“There is traditionally a lot of interest in our Youth Elections, with more than 6,500 young people voting at the last elections in 2010. With the Youth Council elections at the same time, I hope that even more will participate this year. I would encourage anyone interested to put themselves forward before the closing date for nominations.”

Anyone aged between 11 and 19 who lives, goes to school or is educated in the borough is able to stand for nomination. Candidates must complete a short application form available online, from all secondary schools in the borough or from local youth centres. Following the nomination of candidates, a campaign and voting period will commence, with the declaration of results announced on the 20 March 2013.

Two youth parliament members will be elected, along with a deputy. In addition the elections will see 34 youth councillors (five for each quindrat in the borough and eight representatives from subgroups).

For information on the Richmond Youth Parliament Member role or the Richmond Youth Council, please visit www.richmond.gov.uk/youth or contact Michael Connor on michael.connor@richmond.gov.uk or call 020 8288 7511