Photo Gallery: Meet the Norfolk youngsters who are about to go to the polls
PUBLISHED: 12:13 10 March 2014 | UPDATED: 13:35 10 March 2014
The majority of them will not be old enough to vote in next year’s general election, but that has not stopped almost 30 young people across Norfolk standing for election themselves.
How to vote
Norfolk County Council has introduced text voting for the first time this year and everyone aged 11 to 18 is entitled to cast their vote. The new voting system is expected to increase the turn-out and ensure as many people as possible get involved in the democratic process.
The last elections, in 2012, saw about 12,000 young people take to the ballot box.
The polls are open from today until Sunday and young people can vote by texting “elect” followed by the first name of their chosen candidate to 80800. Young people can only vote once, for one candidate.
Election fever gets under way this week, with young people going to the polls to elect the county’s next youth parliamentarians, with young people aged 11 to 17 campaigning to win votes. Those elected as Members of Youth Parliament (MYP) will spend two years in office and will have the chance to debate at Westminster and work with local MPs and councillors.
Elections are being held in each of the nine constituencies in the county and 29 young people are standing in the hope they can represent their peers on a local and national stage.
The national UK Youth Parliament has chosen to campaign to lower the voting age and this will be a key focus for the young people standing.
Mick Castle, cabinet member for education and schools, said: “We want young people in the county to have a voice – they need to be empowered and feel they can make a difference to the services that affect them.
“The youth parliament elections give them a chance to get a flavour of the democratic process, to select a candidate that speaks for them and can highlight the important issues that young people face.”
Billie Bell, former MYP and current procedures group representative for the east of England, said: “The UK Youth Parliament is the UK’s premier youth voice platform.
“The fact that MYPs are permitted to sit in the House of Commons once a year is a testament to the work they do for young people day-in, day-out, and to the respect the organisation has earned from politicians over the years.
“There hasn’t been a moment over the last two years in which I haven’t been inspired by the UK’s youth voice participation.
“The Youth Parliament in Norfolk now has a very strong relationship with the county council, including members of the cabinet and shadow cabinet, as well as a series of campaigns that are already making headway, such as Votes at 16 and A Curriculum for Life. I’m sure they’ll do Norfolk proud.”
• To see each of the candidates, click on the gallery in the top right hand corner of the page.
MEET THE CANDIDATES
I believe I would be a good member of youth parliament as I am passionate about giving young people a voice. Having already been an MYP for the last two years, I am experienced and enthusiastic about the Norfolk Youth Parliament and I would
love to carry on working
hard in order to achieve the best for young people.
I’ll succeed as an MYP because I have the passion and commitment to represent you all. I’m very aware of the real issues young people face in today’s society from my personal experiences and peers. Don’t be part of the lost generation. We have a voice.
Great Yarmouth Candidates
I have a passion for helping young people in Great Yarmouth. This can be seen in projects I’ve already been involved with such as the Youth Advisory Board. I would like to represent you as your MYP to carry this on, on a much larger scale.
I believe I would make a brilliant MYP because I am an outgoing and determined young girl, who through roles such as school councillor and deputy head girl, have become very aware of issues within my constituency among all young people and I’m very keen to act upon them by working as a platform of mediation.
I would make a good member of the youth parliament UK because I can give young people a voice to be heard. Also I can campaign on better travel for younger people and more support at school for getting a better paid job.
I would make a brilliant MYP because I want the younger generation to strive in everything they do. Every young person has a voice and it needs to be heard. I am a confident, strong person and willing to take on any challenge thrown at me. VOTE FOR ME!
I believe that I’d make a great member of UK Youth Parliament as I’m dedicated to promoting new and original ideas from all kinds of young people from a variety of backgrounds. By already working with the Youth Advisory Board I’ve been involved with current issues, some of which I’ve experienced first-hand making me aware that there needs to be change to heighten the work that’s being done to resolve these issues.
Mid Norfolk Candidates
I would make a brilliant MYP because I enjoy activities with young people. I am an Explorer Scout and young leader in the central Norfolk area. Also, I am working towards my bronze Duke of Edinburgh award as I love a challenge. I am a good communicator and would see this as a very rewarding opportunity.
I would make a brilliant MYP because I have always wanted to make a difference in the world we live in. I am a very good listener and have friends who don’t feel comfortable telling people their ideas, but I can bring in fresh ideas from them and many others.
I’d make a good candidate because I’m optimistic yet practical. I understand the importance of dedication and patience. I’m a good communicator and have strong public speaking skills. I have drive and a vision but have diligence to back this. I’m a good listener and have the ability to compromise.
Vote for me because I will listen to you and hear what matters. I will take these issues whether personal, social, political or environmental and represent you within the Youth Parliament. So whether it’s cyber bullying, smoking in cars, global warming or local issues, I will make your voice heard.
North Norfolk Candidates
I would be a great MYP because I am a hard-working and dedicated person who likes to do things well, so if I was asked to do something, I would do it to the best of my ability. Also, I would like to be a voice for young people who aren’t confident in voicing their own.
I would make an excellent youth parliament member because I am a confident, determined and a smiley girl. I promise to stand up for your views and to help make a difference to young people. I will campaign your views and attend as many meetings to try to change people’s minds about young people and get them on board with your ideas!
North West Norfolk Candidate
I would make a brilliant MYP because unlike many politicians of the age I am not alienated from my voters; therefore I stand up for the common student, not those who are more privileged than others. I also see the real need for change young people crave for in this unstable time for our country.
Norwich North Candidates
Shaun Bush Trivett
I’m outspoken and want to help teenagers to have a better mental attitude when it comes to difficulties in all aspects of life. Exams and other problems are hard to deal with and it’s always good to have someone there to support you. Life is golden, make it worth living.
I would like to be a MYP because I feel it’s important to debunk the poor stereotypes and representation of youth in today’s society. We (us young people) are the future and our voices need to be heard. I will make this happen.
I would make a brilliant Member of Norfolk Youth Parliament because I enjoy helping others and like to make sure everyone has a say. I’ve seen first hand how politics can help benefit society and would love to be a part of it. I believe I take both sides of an argument into account and come to a fair decision that will try to benefit everyone.
Listening and putting across young people’s ideas is part of why I would make a brilliant MYP as I believe that people must be heard. I am a confident speaker and also a very good listener who will take notes as to what is being said.
Norwich South Candidates
I would make a brilliant MYP because I can listen to and talk to people. I want to achieve in encouraging my generation to get involved and together we can make a difference. We do not want to be the lost generation. I also have new ideas to bring forward.
I want to bring greater transparency and equality for young people and to empower them to stand up, to let their voices be heard and to stop negative youth archetypes dictating our lives.
Not only will I empower young people by amplifying their voices in order for their problems to be heard, but I will ensure that young people become educated in how they can become proactive in making a difference.
South Norfolk Candidates
Jack James Allison
I would make a brilliant addition to the youth parliament because I’m a conscientious individual who meets any challenge with determination and diligence. My ability for public speaking allows me to share my opinions with others consistently, enabling me to work effectively in a team. I would make it my uppermost priority to ensure the voice of the youth is heard.
I would make a brilliant MYP because I am great at listening to people’s opinions and I can make them heard. If you want someone who cares about what you think then vote for me. I promise to try my hardest to be a great ambassador for young people.
I think I would make a fantastic Youth MP because I am great at speaking out and expressing young people’s views. It would be great to make a change in our society today using the views from young people and I need your help to make action today.
I believe in making our generation’s voices heard; we should be a part of all decisions made by the government as we are the generation who is directly affected by the choices they make. We should all be a part of the change to a better future for our country!
South West Norfolk Candidates
I would make a good MYP because I believe that young people’s views are important and need to be heard. I also will listen to what everyone has to say and will make sure your opinions are heard and debated about, because we are the future and I can help to make the dull past into a brighter future.
I would make an excellent MYP because true change is in democracy! Voting for me would mean efficient and well–acknowledged work and collaboration with the youth of modern Britain. Change begins with yes! We all want the youth of today to have a say, and I will ensure that their voice is echoed from county to county. As John F. Kennedy once said, “Change is the law of life!”
I would make a great MYP because I am willing to listen to and take account of anybody’s thoughts, ideas and opinions, no matter what. I am also a member of the Breckland YAB, so cooperating with the needs of other young people will not be a difficult task for me.
I feel that I would bring enthusiasm and commitment to being a Member of Youth Parliament. I feel that I could put across the ideas of this generation and maximise the change in society for the better for all the young members of the public.