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You are here: Home Page > Council and Democracy > Council News > Archived News > August 2010 > Martin Helps to Make History

Martin Helps to Make History in Northern Ireland

Tuesday 3rd August 2010

 

For the first time in its history, the UK Youth Parliament held its annual sitting in Northern Ireland, at the University of Ulster, Jordanstown Campus, Belfast from 23rd – 26th July 2010. Bedford’s representative was 17 year-old Mark Rutherford Upper School student, Martin Leggett, from Goldington.

 

Martin spent two years as a member of Bedford’s Youth Cabinet, supported by Bedford Borough Council Integrated Youth Support Services, where he would work on delivering petitions for items such as requests for cheaper transport within Bedfordshire, and last October he also helped plan a conference, held at the Corn Exchange, in which local issues were covered. Martin continues to plan campaigns and is now a member of the National Youth Cabinet.

 

Martin mingled with 300 Members of Youth Parliament from across the UK who had all gathered in Belfast. The four day event saw debates on the environment, health, crime and education. Other issues included lowering the voting age to 16, and transport provision for young people.  

 

As part of the sitting, the 11-18 year-olds visited Stormont and were addressed by Francie Molloy, Deputy Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly. During the weekend the Members of Youth Parliament were also addressed by a number of high profile speakers, including the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, the Minister for Energy and Climate Change, Charles Hendry, and Robin Newton, Junior Minister within the Office of First and Deputy First Minister in Northern Ireland.

 

Cllr David Sawyer, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services said: “The UK Youth Parliament gives young people a voice on issues that matter to them.  It has been an incredible experience and shows how important it is that young people get involved in politics."

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