Martin to Debate in House of Commons
Tuesday 19th October
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:
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?
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?
Transport – Is public transport too expensive for
young people? At what age should you be charged an adult fare?
University – Are fees too high? Is it even worth
going to university? Are there enough places for those who want to
War – Should UK troops be brought home from
Afghanistan? Was the conflict in Iraq a costly mistake? Is war ever
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!”