ELECTION 2019 – Only 5 days left to register to vote: Southampton tops in turnout for UK Youth Parliament ballot

OVER 14000 young people across Southampton’s schools participated in a vote on what issues should be debated in the UK Youth Parliament.

Southampton City Council and local charities such as the Saints Foundation worked with schools across the city to encourage pupils to get involved, achieving a 71.0% turnout.

The council’s Participation Officer for Children and Young People, Hayden Collins said:  “Young people tend to be very politically aware. We have the youth forum, which is a group of young people that we as a council run who are embedded within what we do in regards to things like protecting the environment, and they have plenty of opportunities to give feedback.”

Hayden Collins says the Saints Foundation have been “massive contributors” to Southampton’s high turnout.

Other cities in the South East also had substantial turnouts, with Bracknell at 61.0% and Slough getting 49.1%. Portsmouth had the worst result in the south east with a 0% turnout.

Nearly 7000 young people chose protecting the environment as their biggest concern. Source: UKYP Report

The ballot is part of the Make Your Mark campaign, which seeks to get young people more involved and engaged with politics. The top 5 issues, ranging from UK wide topics to more locally aimed devolved issues, get debated in the House of Commons by elected members of the Youth Parliament.

Councillor Darren Paffey, Cabinet member for Aspiration, Children and Lifelong Learning said in a post: “I’m delighted that so many have expressed their views and engaged in the Make Your Mark campaign.”

“We understand how important issues like the environment and knife crime are to young people and will continue to work with colleagues across the council and together with partners to address these challenges.”

Southampton F.C’s Saints Foundation run the Community Champions programme in eight schools in the city.

Leo Buckley, a Member of the Youth Parliament for Hampshire said: “I think that there is a sense of engagement in ‘anti-apathy’ in Southampton. We are really on the target end of receiving all of these government policies that young people ultimately want to fight against.”

“Brexit has not been allowed to be an issue” – UK Youth MP Leo Buckley has made attempts to raise motions about Brexit in the Youth Parliament.

The Youth Parliament debate took place on November 8, but will not be broadcast until after the December 12t general election.

by Scott Morgan (@Neclord)