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Youth Parliament gets election wheels rolling

Published Tuesday, 20 October 2015

As the current members of Enfield Council’s Youth Parliament step down after two successful years, 18 schools and three youth centres are now selecting up to five candidates for election to represent the borough’s young people for the new parliament.

A list of candidates will be announced later this week and voting in the schools will take place for new Enfield Youth Parliament (EYP) members between 16 – 26 November. Each school will be electing an EYP member and deputy.

At a celebratory results night on Friday evening 27 November, at St Anne’s Lower School in Enfield Town, the results will be announced by returning officer for the night, Cllr Ayfer Orhan, Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Children’s Services and Protection.

She said: “Selecting candidates is the first important step in the election process. It tests vision, presentation, persuasiveness and the desire to represent young people. It is an exciting time for young people in our schools who will experience this process.”

Selected candidates will be expected to produce statements about their vision for the young people in Enfield. During the election period they will make their case at meetings and assemblies explaining why they should be elected to represent Enfield’s youth. 

The Enfield Youth Parliament is an influential body that has a vital relationship with Enfield Council’s scrutiny panels and advises on the issues of special interest to young people such as health, jobs, transport and community safety.

Cllr Orhan, added: “The contribution made by the Enfield Youth Parliament is invaluable because it gives the council real insight into the concerns of younger residents.

“They also elect two members and two deputy members on to the national UK Youth Parliament to represent Enfield’s youth on the national stage. We must take notice of our young people – they are the next generation of leaders.”

About the Enfield Youth Parliament

EYP is an established forum for Enfield’s young people to raise issues with Enfield Council and to send two of its members to the national UK Youth Parliament. The EYP started in 2011. Elections for 25 members take place every two years and are run professionally by council election officers.

The aims of the EYP:

• Enable young people to take part in a democratic process and engage with Enfield’s elected councillors at various meetings and influence policies affecting young people in the borough.

• To gain insight into local democracy and to have a voice in the borough.

Empowering young people has led to improvements in youth services. This includes:

• Ensuring that proposed cuts to youth services have been restored.

• More opportunities for council apprenticeships and similar opportunities are available among council partners.

The 2015 elections will be the third Enfield Youth Parliament Elections. More than 9,000 young people voted at the last two elections.

• Planning and running the young people’s element of the Enfield Youth Parliament budget consultation which received over 1700 responses which were presented to the overview and scrutiny panel. 

• Planning and organising two successful Youth Summit events to discuss the riots and ways to support young people across the borough.

• Representing the voice of young people at key strategic groups, such as the Enfield Strategic Partnership and Enfield Council Scrutiny Panels.

• Meeting six times a year at the national UK Youth Parliament at Westminster and contributing to national youth policy.

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