Young People’s Council looking for candidates

Published on 18 January 2016

YOUNG people who want to have a say in how the city is run are being urged to consider joining Leicester’s Young People’s Council.

The council, which represents young people aged 11-19, is looking for candidates to stand in forthcoming elections.

The elections will cover the whole city, with 42 seats up for grabs, representing young people from different city neighbourhoods.

Launching an election campaign called Choose or Lose, assistant city mayor Cllr Sarah Russell said: “We’re very proud of our Young People’s Council. This is a very active, well-established group that helps to ensure young people have a say in local decision-making.

“Young people who decide to put themselves forward don’t need any previous experience or special skills – they just need to be passionate about representing others and making improvements in our communities.”

Young People’s Council members meet regularly to discuss decisions Leicester City Council is due to make. Their views are fed into the council’s scrutiny process, helping to shape local decision-making.

The two candidates who get the most votes also get the chance to represent Leicester nationally at the UK Youth Parliament.

Young people can stand for election in the neighbourhood they live in, or choose to represent the area where they attend school or a youth centre.

Current Young People’s Council member Alex McLean, aged 19, said: “Becoming a Young People’s Council’s rep gave me more responsibility. I learnt new things about different services in the city.

“Being able to represent the views of young people is really important and it was great that I was part of that. I would definitely recommend that other young people consider standing for election, you won’t regret it!”

Prospective candidates need to register their interest by emailing bernadette.killeen@leicester.gov.uk for an application form. The form needs to be returned by Friday 12 February, either by email or by post to Room 2.15, Town Hall, Town Hall Square, Leicester LE1 9BG.

Candidates take part in registration, hustings and training later on in the process. Voting takes place across city schools, colleges and youth centres from 14-17 March, with a vote count on 18 March and a formal announcement of the results, plus swearing-in, the following day.

Leicester’s youth council elections are held every two years and the last elections, in 2014, attracted 9,600 votes from young people.

Extra members of the youth council are also co-opted from groups representing children in care, disabled children and young carers, to ensure that their voices are also heard on the council.

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