Members of Slough Youth Parliament have called on young people across the borough to share their views in the UK’s largest youth consultation.
The annual Make Your Mark ballot asks young people aged 11-18 across the country about the issues that matter most to them, in order to determine a debate by the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) in the House of Commons on 10 November.
Slough will be represented at the debate for the third year running, as Alaa Fawaz, 16, member of the UKYP for Slough will be participating.
The initial Make Your Mark ballot paper will ask young people to choose from 10 topics, including mental health, support for young carers, votes at 16, protecting LGBT+ people and making public transport cheaper. The five most popular topics will be discussed during the November debate, chaired by the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt. Hon. John Bercow MP and broadcast live on BBC Parliament.
Last year, the Make Your Mark ballot surveyed the opinions of more than 978,000 young people, making it the largest youth consultation of its kind in the UK. Almost 8,000 young people from across Slough voted in the ballot, achieving a 67 per cent turnout – top for the south east region and second highest of any local authority in the UK.
Alaa said: “We’re excited as this is the first year Slough’s Youth Parliament has already registered every secondary school in Slough to take part, so we can capture the views of as many students as possible.
“We aim to make 2017 our best turnout yet. The more voices we get, the harder it will be to ignore us.”
Councillor Madhuri Bedi, cabinet member for children, education and families, said: “The Make Your Mark ballot gives the young people of Slough a voice and the opportunity to contribute to the democratic process from an early age.
“We are proud of the many thousands of young people across the borough who are committed to making Slough a better, stronger and safer place for all of the people who live here.
“I urge all young people aged 11-18 to cast their votes before 6 October and give their views on the issues that really matter to them.”
This year’s Make Your Mark ballot is being coordinated by youth representatives from Slough Youth Parliament and runs until Friday 6 October. Voting takes places both online and through ballot papers issued in schools and youth groups.
If you are a young person aged 11-18 and would like to vote online, please visit www.mi-event.info/event/makeyourmark17
Slough Youth Parliament is supported by Slough Borough Council’s Young People’s Service.
For more information on Slough’s Youth Voice initiatives, email firstname.lastname@example.org