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You are here: Home Page > Council and Democracy > Council News > Archived News > October 2010 > Martin in House of Commons

Martin to Debate in House of Commons

Tuesday 19th October 2010

 

Bedford Borough’s Youth Parliament representative, 17-year-old Martin Leggett, will be joining over 300 young people from across the country to debate in the House of Commons chamber on Friday 29th October.

 

Fellow Members of Youth Parliament, aged 11-18, will debate issues including the cost of university, sex education in schools and war. The issues were voted by 2,500 young people aged 11-18.

 

Cllr David Sawyer, portfolio holder for Children’s Services said: “These sittings encourage young people to thrash ideas out and show how important youth democracy and engagement is seen to be. This occasion will offer scope for some vibrant discussions and provide high profile opportunities for young voices to be heard.”

 

The event follows on from a UK Youth Parliament debate in the House of Commons last year. It was the first time anyone other than MPs had used the chamber itself. Earlier this year, MPs voted by a majority of 499 to 21 to allow Members of Youth Parliament to debate in the House of Commons chamber every year for the life of the Parliament.

 

The five issues being debated are:

 

1.      Job opportunities – Is enough being done to create jobs for young people? Should there be more work experience opportunities for young people in school and college?

2.      Sex Education – Is it good enough? What age should it be taught? Does sex education lead to the sexualisation of young people? Do young people learn about sex from TV?

3.      Transport – Is public transport too expensive for young people? At what age should you be charged an adult fare?

4.      University – Are fees too high? Is it even worth going to university? Are there enough places for those who want to go?

5.      War – Should UK troops be brought home from Afghanistan? Was the conflict in Iraq a costly mistake? Is war ever justified?

 

The UK Youth Parliament is now calling for young people across the country to submit views on the debate topics, via the UK Youth Parliament website http://www.ukyouthparliament.org.uk/

 

Martin Leggett said: “It’s great that young people get to give youth issues a platform and being young myself, I feel I am qualified to express what my peers want and need in comparison to older politicians!”

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