Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Media opportunity - New Leeds members of national Youth Parliament announced this Friday

Over 4,000 young Leeds people turned out to vote for their preferred candidate in this year’s Youth Parliament elections held earlier this month.

The successful candidates will find out if they’ve been chosen to represent Leeds young people on a national level, at an event at Leeds Civic Hall this Friday.

The event, organised by the Youth Association, will be attended by elected members, Leeds Youth Council, youth services, schools and family and friends of the candidates. Presentations will be made by Councillor Judith Blake, the Children’s Mayor Joe Smith and Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP.

Members of Youth Parliament (MYPs) are elected in every part of the UK and represent the views of the young people in their constituency. In Leeds there are four MYP positions available and two deputy MYPs.

Once elected, the successful candidates will regularly meet with MPs and local councillors, organise events, run campaigns, make speeches, hold debates and ensure the views of young people are listened to by decision makers.

Media opportunity:
When: Friday 16th March at 7-8pm
Where: Leeds Civic Hall Banqueting Suite
The announcement event will be attended by 70 guests ranging from elected members, members of Leeds Youth Council, the Children’s Mayor, schools and youth services as well as family and friends of the candidates. Interviews with the successful candidates will be available.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services at Leeds City Council, said:
“Being a member of the Youth Parliament is a great opportunity to represent the views and needs of all young people in Leeds as well as being a fantastic personal development opportunity too.

“In Leeds we have set ourselves the challenge to become a Child Friendly City, and the only way we can do this is by giving the children and young people of our city a voice. The new Youth Parliament members and deputies will become the voice of the young people of Leeds on a national scale – what a fantastic opportunity! I’m sure they will face any challenges head on and be great representatives of the city of Leeds. “

Kirsty Beeston, Operations Manager for the Youth Association, said:
“This is the first time that we have opened up the elections to all young people in Leeds, and we’re really happy that over 4000 young people voted in this important process. It proves that, given the opportunity, many young people want to have their voice heard about things that matter to them and that they value democratic processes such as UKYP and Leeds Youth Council.

It’s more important than ever for young people to have a say about what’s important to them and stand up to save services that matter to them. Having elected representatives from Leeds on the United Kingdom Youth Parliament will really strengthen young people’s voice and influence and help Leeds to achieve its ambition to become the best city in the UK for children and young people.”

Any young person who is a resident of the UK, and aged between 11 and 18 years old (inclusive) has the right to stand for election as an MYP and the right to vote for their MYP.

The MYPs will need to find out the concerns and needs of other young people in their constituency, and represent these views to decision makers on a local, regional and national level. Becoming a MYP would mean having regular meetings at the House of Commons and in the constituency.

Each MYP’s experience is likely to be different from the next, but it provides an opportunity to develop a combination of the following skills:
• Communication
• Public speaking
• Greater knowledge of politics and current affairs
• The ability to look at an issue from someone else's perspective
• Debating
• Teamwork
• Leadership
• Organisational
• Negotiation

For more information about UKYP please visit the following website, call 01924 333 400 or send an email to

For media enquiries, please contact:
Dmitry Fedotov , The Youth Association, on 01924 333 400 or 07854484510