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You are here: Home Page > Council and Democracy > Council News > Archived News > July 2012 > Youth Parliament

Youth Parliament

BEDFORD BOROUGH YOUNG PERSON HEADS TO NOTTINGHAM TO PREPARE FOR HOUSE OF COMMONS DEBATE

 

13 year-old Grace Okafor, Member of Youth Parliament for Bedford Borough, will head to Nottingham this weekend (27 – 29 July) for the 12th annual sitting of the UK Youth Parliament, in order to prepare for a debate in the House of Commons later this year.

 

Grace is part of the Bedford Borough Youth Cabinet (YC12) which has 40 youth cabinet members elected from middle, upper and special schools, colleges and other settings across the borough to represent children and young people’s views. Elected in the Spring Term 2012, YC12 will be working together over next 18 months to improve the lives of children and young people in Bedford Borough.

 

Along with 250 other members of the UK Youth Parliament, Grace will be welcomed by the Speaker of the House of Commons RT Hon John Bercow MP, as well as political campaigner Peter Tatchell. The annual event will also feature a keynote speech from Tim Loughton MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families.

 

Over three days, the delegates will debate issues that affect young people, and take part in workshops and skill sessions. They will also vote to decide which topics should be incorporated in the UKYP Manifesto. Following the event MYPs will vote on what issues from the Manifesto will be put to a national ballot of young people aged 11-18 across the UK to determine the UK Youth Parliament’s priority campaign for 2013.

 

The top five topics from this national ballot will then be debated at the House of Commons sitting in November. At the Commons sitting, one topic will be chosen to be UKYP’s priority campaign.

 

Grace said: “I am really looking forward to going to the event, meeting up with the Members of Youth Parliament from across the country and hearing about the main issues for young people.”

 

Cllr David Sawyer, Portfolio Holder for Education at Bedford Borough Council, said: “It is a great opportunity for Bedford Borough to be represented by Grace at this national meeting, and for young people to influence how decisions are made by central government.”

 

Cllr Sue Oliver, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Social Care at Bedford Borough Council, said: “Young people are in an ideal position to discuss the matters that affect them. Their input is enormously valuable in shaping plans to ensure individuals get the best start in life and to help people to reach their full potential.”

 

For more information about the UK Youth Parliament visit: http://www.ukyouthparliament.org.uk/

 

You can follow YC12 on twitter @bedfordYC12

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