12,000 young people take part in Make Your Mark vote

Published on 07 November 2016

TWELVE thousand young people in Leicester have taken part in a ballot to determine what members of the UK Youth Parliament should discuss.

Nearly a million young people from across the country took part in the annual Make Your Mark ballot to decide what members of the UK Youth Parliament should debate and vote on to be their campaign for 2017.

In the city 12,018 young people took part, giving a turnout of 42.74 per cent. This made Leicester City Council the only East Midlands local authority to place in the top 20 for voter turnout.

The top issues that emerged from the national vote were tackling racism and discrimination, improving public transport and ensuring schools teach topics including finance, politics and sex and relationships.

Voters also opted to put NHS cuts and voting for 16 and 17-year-olds on the agenda.

The UK Youth Parliament will now debate these issues in the House of Commons on 11 November, and will decide which of them will become the focus of their national campaign for 2017.

Brahmpreet Kaur Gulati, a member of Leicester’s Young People’s Council and a UK Youth Parliament representative for Leicester said: “I am overwhelmed to have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go to Parliament and represent young people from Leicester. It’s going to be an amazing experience.

"The issue I feel most strongly about is racial and religious discrimination. I’d like to see another campaign like Don’t Hate, Educate set up to influence communities directly.”

Fellow representative Ryanvir Singh added: “I feel privileged to be going to Parliament to debate these topics. Young people have once again proven that they are politically active by voicing their concerns through Make Your Mark.

“I feel very strongly about votes at 16. The fact that nearly a million young people from across the UK have voted in Make Your Mark clearly shows that young people are politically active and want a voice. I think we need to push the government to give us the vote.”

Cllr Sarah Russell, assistant city mayor responsible for children, young people and schools, said: “The fact that so many Leicester voters took part in this national ballot shows how engaged and politically active many of our young people are.

“We want to promote these opportunities to get involved to more and more of our young people, because this is their chance to do something positive and help shape the local and national political agenda.

“I’m sure that Leicester’s representatives will take an active part in the discussions on November 11, and I look forward to hearing more about the UK Youth Parliament’s new campaign.”

To find out more, search Young People’s Council at www.leicester.gov.uk.

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