Young People’s Council members to be sworn in

Published on 22 March 2016

NEWLY-ELECTED members of Leicester’s Young People’s Council will be sworn in at a special event later this week.

More than 11,000 votes were cast in the recent Choose or Lose election campaign, which saw young people aged 11-19 voting to elect members of the Young People’s Council (YPC) in 42 seats.

The election covered the whole city, with young people standing to represent neighbourhoods where they live, attend college or go to a youth centre. Voting took place through schools, colleges and youth centres across Leicester.

Candidates also submitted manifestos, highlighting the issues that matter to them the most. These included better facilities for young people in the community, improving road safety and sports facilities, climate change and mental health.

The swearing-in event will take place in the council chamber at Leicester’s Town Hall, and will see all new members taking an oath of office and signing a certificate.

The two members of the council who polled the most votes will also be taking up seats in the UK Youth Parliament, which holds an annual debate in the House of Commons chamber.

New member of the Young People’s Council Brahmpreet Gulati, aged 15, from Hamilton, said: “To me, being elected means the start of bringing change. It means being empowered in the community and standing with all the young people that put an 'x' in the box for me. I want to represent them fairly and to the best of my ability. I want to fulfill any promises I make to a good standard.”

Cllr Sarah Russell, assistant city mayor responsible for children, young people and schools, said: “These young people have campaigned actively and with great enthusiasm throughout the Choose or Lose election campaign. It’s fantastic to see them now taking up their seats on the Young People’s Council and I look forward to working with them.

“Every young person who voted in this campaign has taken an active interest in democracy and recognised that you can make a difference to your local community, so I’m really proud that so many people have taken part. I think it bodes well for the future.”

Leicester’s youth council elections are held every two years. As well as elected members, the Young People’s Council is also made up of representatives co-opted from groups representing children in care, disabled children and young carers, to ensure their voices are heard.

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