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Youth Parliament

HALEEMA HEADED TO THE COMMONS CHAMBER FOR DEBATE

 

11-year-old Haleema Hussain, from Bedford Borough, joined over 300 elected members of the Youth Parliament at a national debate held in the House of Commons, on Friday 15th November, to decide the UK Youth Parliament’s priority campaigns for 2014.

 

In February this year, Haleema was elected as Member of Youth Parliament to represent young people in Bedford Borough as part of her role as Westfield Middle School Youth Cabinet representative.

 

The debate, chaired by the Speaker of the House of Commons Rt. Hon John Bercow MP, and broadcast live on BBC Parliament, focused on the top five issues chosen by more than 478,000 young people in the UK Youth Parliament’s ‘Make Your Mark’ ballot, which took place earlier this year.

 

At the end of the five debates, Members of Youth Parliament voted to decide which two issues would become their national campaigns for 2014.

 

The five issues debated were:

·         A curriculum to prepare us for life

·         Zero tolerance towards bullying in schools

·         Better work experience and careers advice

·         Combating youth unemployment

·         Votes for 16 and 17 year olds in all public elections

 

The two campaigns chosen were: ‘A curriculum to prepare us for life’ which was chosen as the UK Youth Parliament’s UK-wide campaign, with 136 of the 296 available votes and ‘Votes for 16 and 17 year olds in all public elections’ for the England-wide campaign, with 217 votes out of 296.

 

Cllr Sue Oliver, Executive Member for Children’s Social Care, said: “As an individual, Haleema has proved she is both keen, and able, to speak on behalf of young people living in Bedford Borough. It is important to get young people interested in democracy from an early age so that they realise their vote counts and will make a difference.”

 

Haleema said: “I’m was so excited to go and debate in the House of Commons and be like an MP for the day. It was good to hear the debates and take part in the experience!”

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