Ten young people are taking their first steps into politics with the launch of their bid to be named one of four Members of UK Youth Parliament for Leeds.
Voting is now underway to determine who will be the four 11 to 18 year olds to represent the city at the UK Youth Parliament for 2018-20.
The UK Youth Parliament is run by young people for young people and provides the opportunity for them to “use their voice in creative ways to bring about social change”.
Youngsters in Leeds were invited to submit an application to become a Member of Youth Parliament, including writing a short manifesto saying how they would improve an issue that is important to young people in Leeds.
The shortlist of ten who are all vying for your vote are Arghya Chakrabarty, 16, Arqam Al-Hadeed, 17, Beatrix Clarke-Dunn, 12, Harry Small, 15, Junior Frood, 13, Kirah Brackenbury, 15, Samuel Cliffe, 15, Syed Zainuddin, 16, Sylvia Cullen, 17, and Thomas Schofield, 15.
Coun Lisa Mulherin, Leeds City Council’s executive member for children and families, said: “It’s great to see such young people wanting to make a difference on issues which matter to them, their friends and their communities and keen to engage in politics to achieve that.
“Enabling young people to have their say is a vital part of ensuring everyone in our city is given an opportunity to shape the future of Leeds and I applaud our nominees for their thought-provoking manifestos and wish them all the very best of luck.”
Voting closes on February 15 at 5pm.
Voters must be aged 11 to 18 and live in, or go to school or college in Leeds.
Voters have two votes and each must be for a different candidate.
The four new members of youth parliament for Leeds will be announced at the finalists’ reception on Tuesday, February 20.
For more information on the elections, to read the candidates’ full manifestos and to vote, visit https://breezeleeds.org/have-your-say/uk-youth-parliament-leeds/ukyp-election
The shortlisted candidates for the 2018-20 Members of Youth Parliament in Leeds are:
Arghya Chakrabarty, 16
Allerton Grange High School
Year upon year, the education system fails SEND students in its lack of provision. I seek to change this.
Arqam Al-Hadeed, 17
Allerton High School
Votes at 16, tackling racial and religious discrimination against minority groups and FREE public transport for young people.
Beatrix Clarke-Dunn, 12
Benton Park High School
Improved and quicker access to counselling and support and homes for homeless young people. Increase society’s awareness of young people homelessness issues.
Harry Small, 15
Helping young people reach their full potential by providing access to high quality, environmentally-friendly and affordable public transport.
Junior Frood, 13
Leeds West Academy
I believe that we live in a world where bullying shouldn’t exist, lets make a stand together and put a stop to bullying.
Kirah Brackenbury, 15
Temple Moor High School
Action needs to be taken to improve the knowledge of staff in education establishments about mental health charities and agencies available to help young people.
Samuel Cliffe, 15
An inclusive Leeds that works with everyone and works for everyone for the betterment of our city and young lives.
Syed Zainuddin, 16
Leeds City College
I believe in and demand better access to further education and higher education courses by advocating for the end of tuition fees for 18+ students.
Sylvia Cullen, 17
St Mary’s Menston
I would write a fun programme to be taught in primary schools to help children gain an understanding about learning disabilities to help inclusion and understanding.
Thomas Schofield, 15
Our transport system is failing! We want free transport for under 18s in Leeds. Vote for me and I will campaign for you!