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Time for young people to vote and have their voices heard
Friday 14th February, 2014

Everyone aged between 11 and 17 living in Wigan Borough is being asked to vote for the young person they want to represent Wigan and Leigh at the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP), before voting closes on Tuesday 25th February.

Four young people are up for election and the two with the most votes when the count takes place will officially represent the borough for the next 2 years.

Anyone wanting to vote just needs to visit the stand which will be out in the borough over the next two weeks in the following locations: Grand Arcade (next to HSBC) on 19th Feb between 10.30am and 2pm; Spinningate Shopping Centre in Leigh on Thursday 20th February, between 10.30am and 2pm; Wigan Youth Zone, on 21st February, running from 4pm to 8.30pm;

Wigan Council’s Voice and Engagement Team is promoting the elections and the work of the representatives during visits to the borough’s schools, when pupils also have the opportunity to vote. It’s part of the team’s ongoing work with local schools, colleges and other partners to explain the benefits of the Youth Parliament and why the borough’s young people should get involved.

‘Manifesto videos’ featuring the four young candidates’ interests and pledges, and explaining what the UK Youth Parliament is all about, can be viewed on the council website. People can find out more about Alice Wilcock’s plans to tackle bullying and improve work experience opportunities, Leighton Waterworth’s ideas to bring everyone together and improve Ince, Neomi Midgley’s pledge to celebrate your individuality and Rory Gilmore’s ideas to maximise young people’s experiences at school and improve the image of the borough’s young people.

One of the current MYPs, Jilly McKiernan, said: “The UK Youth Parliament has changed my life. I’ve made the most amazing friends from all over the country and gained an incredible amount of skills. It has definitely improved my confidence and helped make me the person I am today.

“I would like to think that over my time in office I’ve helped make a difference to the young people I represent. I’ve worked alongside MPs, councillors, members of the police and fire service to make sure that young people are given a voice in as many aspects of life as possible. I’ve helped run many successful campaigns such as ‘My Mark’ and ‘Your Turf Your Side’ which have all been great achievements and have helped to increase the positivity around young people.”

There are around 30,000 people aged between 11 and 17 living in the borough.

Wigan Council portfolio holder for children, Susan Loudon, said: “Young people are important to the future of Wigan Borough. We want them to realise that their views on the things which affect them can be put forward through the Youth Parliament so I’d really encourage them to go and vote for the candidate they want to represent them.”

The count of votes and announcement of the successful candidates will take place on 25th February at Leigh town hall.

Visit: www.wigan.gov.uk/Council/Voting-and-Elections/Voting-and-Elections.aspx for more details

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