Youth parliament members from across the country met at the House of Commons in Westminster on Friday (10 November) to debate the topic of the UK Youth Parliament’s (UKYP) next national campaign.
Slough was represented at the debate by youth parliament member Alaa Fawaz 16, who made her case for votes at 16. This is the third year Slough has been represented in the House of Commons debate.
A vote at 16 was selected as the UKYP’s next national campaign. A curriculum to better prepare young people for life was chosen as their priority campaign for England.
These motions were two of five debated in the House of Commons chamber in a special session chaired by the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt. Hon. John Bercow MP, and broadcast live on BBC Parliament.
More than 200 UKYP members aged 11-18 took part in the debates nationally. Topics were voted for by 948,677 young people during the recent Make Your Mark ballot – the biggest youth referendum in the UK.
This has been a record breaking year for Slough as 9,368 young people voted in the Make Your Mark ballot, achieving the highest voter turn out in the country (80 per cent).
Alaa Fawaz, member of UKYP for Slough, said: “It was an unforgettable experience and inspiring to see so many passionate young people. This is the second time I’ve represented Slough at the national level. Last year I spoke against adult fares for young people but this year I spoke in favour of votes at 16.”
Councillor Madhuri Bedi, cabinet member for children, education and families, said: “We are proud to see our community so actively and competently represented by the passionate young people of Slough. Alaa presented an informed and compelling argument in favour of votes at 16.
“This year’s record 80 per cent voting turnout shows the young people of Slough are engaged and participating in politics and the democratic process more than ever before.
“The council voted in support of the ruling group’s motion to support lowering the voting age in all elections back in 2015 and this is a position we continue to hold today. We will continue to work with the Slough Youth Parliament and its members to drive forward their campaign to lower the voting age to 16.”
Slough Youth Parliament is supported by the Young People’s Service, Slough Borough Council.
For more information on Slough’s Youth Voice initiatives, email firstname.lastname@example.org