Young people are being encouraged to ensure they have their say on key issues for Wiltshire and the south west by voting online during the youth elections.
Sixteen candidates from across Wiltshire with ages ranging from 12 to 17 are standing for nomination to the Wiltshire Assembly of Youth and the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) elections this month.
WAY and UKYP representatives sit on a number of key boards ensuring children and young people’s views and best interests are heard. They have influence on decisions affecting children, safeguarding and services for young people.
The election period runs from 8 to 22 February 2016 and young people aged 11 to 18 years are eligible to vote if they live in Wiltshire or attend boarding school here. Votes can only be cast once. The results will be published on 23 February.
Laura Mayes cabinet member for children’s services said: “We place great importance on the views of young people and I’m very pleased that so many have put themselves forward for this role and are wanting to take on that responsibility. I’d encourage all Wiltshire’s young residents to read the candidates’ manifestos and vote online.”
Chloe Lintern, 17, from Colerne is a current member of the youth parliament for Wiltshire North. Along with 300 elected members of the parliament she is launching a year-long campaign to combat racism and religious discrimination, particularly against people who are Muslim or Jewish.
She said: “Being a WAY and UKYP member has given me so many opportunities and has improved my confidence and public speaking skills. I can ensure that young people are being heard at the forefront of the work that will affect them.
“Young people in Wiltshire should get involved and vote because its important they have their say on who should represent them and allow them to be involved in the democratic process of our elections. They should use their vote wisely and vote for who will do the best job presenting them.” For further details on the candidates and to vote go to http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/communityandliving/childrenyoungpeoplevoice.htm