Youth Parliament campaign decided

Central Beds students Ellen Burke and Steven Dawkins
Central Beds students Ellen Burke and Steven Dawkins

Two Central Bedfordshire students were among a group of 285 who attended the House of Commons to decide the UK Youth Parliament’s national campaign for 2016.

Ellen Burke from Stratton Upper School and Steven Dawkins of All Saints Academy took part in the session chaired by Speaker John Bercow.

Following five debates, ‘Working together to combat racism and religious discrimination’ was chosen as the national campaign while ‘Mental services should be improved with our help’ was selected as the priority campaign for England.

Other topics discussed included ‘A living wage for all’ and ‘A curriculum to prepare us for life and public transport.’

They were shortlisted following Make Your Mark, the largest-ever youth referendum ballot which saw more than 900,000 young people – including 3,926 from Bedfordshire – decide their priorities from a list of 150 issues.

The top three issues for our area were mental health, a living wage for all and a curriculum to prepare us for life.

Cllr Carole Hegley said: “Central Bedfordshire Youth Parliament has been active since 2010 and elections are carried out on a two-year term in upper schools across the area. Young people in Years 8 to 11 can currently stand for upcoming elections in February 2016, providing an opportunity for them to ensure their views are known and understood.”

> For more information visit www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/youth-voice