Hot Seat

Mid and West Wales AM Jones on why the for­ma­tion of a Welsh Youth Par­lia­ment is a pos­i­tive step for­ward

Llanelli Star - - Letters -

HOW would you like to rep­re­sent Llanelli in our first Youth Par­lia­ment?

If you live in Wales, or get your ed­u­ca­tion in Wales you can put your­self for­ward, you’ll need to be at least 11 years old, and no older than 17 by the last day of the elec­tion, which is 25 Novem­ber. Ap­pli­ca­tions are now open, and close on Septem­ber 30.

As a for­mer chair of the Na­tional As­sem­bly’s Chil­dren and Young Peo­ple and an ad­vo­cate for the voice of our youth in Wales I’m de­lighted to see we will get a youth par­lia­ment on a na­tional level.

While there are plenty of good ex­am­ples of coun­cils and other bod­ies se­lect­ing young peo­ple to speak in youth fo­rums, Wales was be­ing left be­hind be­cause of a lack of a youth par­lia­ment on a na­tional level.

The Welsh Youth Par­lia­ment will work with the Na­tional As­sem­bly for Wales to make sure the voice of chil­dren and young peo­ple is heard by those with the power to make change in Wales.

The Welsh Youth Par­lia­ment will be made up of 60 mem­bers. The 40 youth par­lia­men­tar­i­ans will be elected in Novem­ber 2018. The re­main­ing 20 will be elected by part­ner or­gan­i­sa­tions.

Putting the youth par­lia­ment together this way will make sure we have rep­re­sen­ta­tion from di­verse groups of young peo­ple.

All 60 Welsh Youth Par­lia­ment mem­bers will have equal sta­tus with the same roles and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

I’m re­ally pleased that two of the 20 Welsh Youth Par­lia­ment mem­bers elected by se­lected part­ner or­gan­i­sa­tions will come from an or­gan­i­sa­tion I led, Youth Cymru.

It is one of 13 or­gan­i­sa­tions se­lected as part­ner or­gan­i­sa­tions of the Welsh Youth Par­lia­ment.

If you are a young per­son I hope you would con­sider this, be­cause the par­lia­ment will be a com­pletely new way for young peo­ple to have their say on is­sues that mat­ter to them.

Be­fore you can vote for your Welsh Youth Par­lia­ment Mem­ber, you’ll need to reg­is­ter. You can reg­is­ter from now un­til Novem­ber 16 at www.youth­par­lia­

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