The recent February elections in the United Kingdom Youth Parliament have seen myself, Benjamin Farnes, elected as a Member of the Youth Parliament, to serve the Basingstoke, Eastleigh and Winchester constituency. The UK Youth Parliament is an organisation which enables young people to use their energy and passion to change the world for the better. Run by young people for young people, UKYP provides opportunities for 11-18 year-olds to use their voice in creative ways to bring about social change.
The UK Youth Parliament has 600 elected MYPs (Members of Youth Parliament) aged 11-18. MYP’s are elected in annual youth elections throughout the UK. In the past two years one million young people have voted in UK Youth Parliament elections, in this constituency ten thousand young people voted.
As an elected MYP my role will involve organising events and projects, run campaigns and influence decision makers on the issues which matter most to young people. All MYPs meet once a year at the UK Youth Parliament Annual Sitting at the House of Commons, in which we discuss the most prominent issues which affect young people. In this current Political age, we find that there are a range of issues which concern and affect the young people within society. The UK Youth Parliament has three national campaigns which are; a reduction in prices on Public Transport, abolishment of University fees and Political education for all. Recently I’ve conducted a survey which asked Young People within the constituency, ‘What issues they are most concerned about’, the top three issues are; Public Transport, University Fees and Support in and after education.
At present Hampshire County Council are currently undertaking a through consultation into Youth Services. There are going to be several major changes taking place; which includes the removal of funding to Connexions advice service which is provided in all schools, as a result schools are expected to buy this service if they feel it is an asset. My results from the recent survey show that young people want support in education so this change will contradict this. If we look at the youth centres across the constituency, they too are facing major changes, for example replacing full time paid staff with the voluntary sector. These youth centres provide an excellent service to all young people who use it, and some may argue that by these changes taking place this will result in an increase in crime, and a lack of motivation for some young people to achieve. The consultation runs until July and can be found and entered via the Hampshire County Council website.
I have been brief in explaining a little about what my two year term of office will involve, I am more than happy to be contacted in you require any extra information about certain projects or would like to become involved in consultations, campaigns etc. So please do feel free to e-mail me.