Three teenagers from North Yorkshire will be experiencing life on the benches of the House of Commons tomorrow as they join over 300 youth parliamentarians for what has become an annual sitting to debate key issues affecting young people.
Emily Nicholas who represents Richmond, Lizzie Callinan from Harrogate and Liam Cutler, Northallerton, will join in the debate, chaired by Speaker of the House of Commons Rt Hon John Bercow MP and broadcast live on BBC Parliament. It will focus on the top five issues chosen by more than 250.000 young people in the UK Youth Parliament’s Make Your Mark ballot earlier this year.
The five issues are:
- making public transport cheaper and more accessible – chosen as the UK Youth Parliament’s national campaign for 2012
- getting ready for work
- marriage for all
- equal national minimum wage for all
- a curriculum to prepare us for life
At the end of the five debates, the Youth Parliament will vote to decide which issue will become the national campaign for 2013 It is the fourth time that the UK Youth Parliament has debated in the House of Commons Chamber and they are the only group, other than MPs, allowed to do so.
The event forms part of Parliament Week, and the young people will also have the opportunity to meet Members of Parliament and other national influencers.
Young people in North Yorkshire returned 5,000 papers for the Make Your Mark ballot and the Yorkshire and Humber region as a whole returned nearly 36,000 ballots. Emily, Lizzie and Liam are all looking forward to tomorrow’s debate in such a high profile venue and see it as a chance for the nation to realise that young people take issues of the day very seriously and an excellent way for young people to have a voice in the affairs of the nation.
County Councillor Arthur Barker, Executive Member for Youth Services, commented:
The UK Youth Parliament is an excellent way of young people being heard and it’s marvellous that they can experience the cut and thrust of their debates in such a celebrated setting.
The debate can be heard on the BBC Parliament channel or live on line at www.ukyouthparliament.org.uk/myps/house-of-commons/