YOUNG PEOPLE SHOULD BE SEEN AND HEARD

On Friday, February 9th, a local election to find the London Borough of Merton’s representatives for the UK Youth Parliament officially came to a close, and Venessa Vas and Conor Johnson from Ursuline High School and Wimbledon College respectively, were named as the new Members of the UK Youth Parliament (MYPs) for 2007.

The UK Youth Parliament was launched at the House of Commons in July 1999, to give those between the ages of 11-18, a voice that will be heard and listened to by local and national government, providers of services for young people and other agencies who have an interest in the views and needs of young people.

Venessa and Conor, who are both aged 15, will represent both young men and women in the London Borough of Merton, including young people from a variety of different ethnic backgrounds, religious persuasions and with learning and physical disabilities.

During their term they will work towards identifying and tackling the burning local, regional and national issues that affect young people. They will be supported in their duties by the two deputy MYPs Adaeze Ikpoh and Connor Roach, the former MYPs of 2006.

Conor Johnson, MYP for the London Borough of Merton, said: ‘The UK Youth Parliament is a great opportunity for our generation. It gives us the chance to let people know how we really feel about the issues that affect us.’

Vennessa Vas, MYP for the London Borough of Merton, said: ‘ “When I first heard about the elections I thought, why not. I believe young people should always be represented and I hope I can rise to the challenge.’

Cabinet Member for School Standards & Youth Engagement, Councillor Oonagh Moulton, said: “I was very pleased to hear about how many students took part in the voting process. Young people’s needs and opinions are different to those of older people, so it is important that their views are recognised and represented at a local and national level.”

The Inauguration of the London Borough of Merton’s representatives into the UK Youth Parliament will take place on Tuesday, 27th February 2007, at 16:40 – 17:10 at the Council Chambers at Crown House. Guests at the ceremony will include the Mayor of Merton, Councillor Geraldine Stanford, Merton Council’s Chief Executive, Ged Curran, The Leader of Merton Council, David Williams, Councillor Oonagh Moulton and Director of Children Schools and Families, Dave Hill.

For more information please contact Rosetta Buahin on 0207 545 3327