Young politi­cians take first step on lad­der to elec­tion

Six cho­sen to stand for the chance to be in UK youth par­lia­ment

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Will Ack­er­mann will.ack­er­mann@trin­i­tymir­

SIX po­lit­i­cally-am­bi­tious teenagers have been se­lected as pos­si­ble can­di­dates to rep­re­sent the bor­ough in UK Youth Par­lia­ment (UKYP) next year.

They were cho­sen from 12 hope­fuls who gave man­i­festo speeches to more than 60 of their peers at Hilling­don Coun­cil’s an­nual youth con­fer­ence this month (De­cem­ber). The six can­di­dates will now be­gin cam­paign­ing 2015/16.

Two seats are avail­able, as well as a deputy po­si­tion, and the win­ners will be de­cided by a bor­ough-wide bal­lot of those aged be­tween 11 and 18 in Fe­bru­ary 2015.

Coun­cil­l­lor David Simmonds, deputy leader of Hilling­don Coun­cil and cab­i­net mem­ber for ed­u­ca­tion and chil­dren’s ser­vices, said: “Hilling­don’s an­nual youth con­fer­ence is a great op­por­tu­nity for the coun­cil to hear more about the valu­able work that our Youth

to be


in Coun­cil and younger mem­bers are do­ing in the bor­ough, such as fundrais­ing for lo­cal char­i­ties. It is also the ideal way to start another year of UK Youth Par­lia­ment elec­tions in the bor­ough.

“Con­grat­u­la­tions to the six can­di­dates who de­liv­ered en­gag­ing speeches based on good man­i­festos to at­tract the most votes from their peers. I wish them the best of luck with their cam­paigns.”

The an­nual youth con­fer­ence also en­cour­aged young peo­ple to de­bate top­i­cal is­sues, such as whether 16 and 17 year olds should be given the vote, and recog­nised the Youth Coun­cil’s and younger mem­bers’ work and com­mit­ment to par­tic­i­pat­ing in democ­racy.

The six can­di­dates are: Di­lani Sel­vanathan, 15, from Queens­mead High School; Anurag Mathur, 16, from Ruis­lip High School; Kameal Ahmed, 17, from Ab­bots­field School; Talin As­la­nian, 16, from Bishop Ram­sey School; Court­ney Thomp­son, 17, from Swake­leys School; and Melissa Braith­waite, 16, from The Douay Martyrs School.

n 2014 WIN­NER: Singer song­writer Sara Wil­liams

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