Five teens from across Leicestershire are set to compete to represent the county’s young people.
Standing in the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) elections, the candidates are vying for one of three UKYP places and will be working to secure votes from local young people, aged between 11-18.
The three teenagers who secure the most votes will take their place on the Youth Parliament for two years, while the remaining two candidates will become Deputy Members of Youth Parliament and will also represent youngsters on the County Youth Council (CYCLE).
Leicestershire County Council supports the UK Youth Parliament representatives who raise issues by speaking to councillors, students, council officers, MPs and government ministers and taking part in a televised House of Commons debate.
The nominees are: Bradley Ashford, Lauren Duguid, Molly Lambert, Simran Sangherra and Dan Taylor.
Councillor Ivan Ould, the county council’s cabinet member for children and families, said: “This is a great opportunity for 11 to 18-year-olds to represent the views of young people across the county and campaign on behalf of their peers.
“In Leicestershire, we saw our best-ever Make your Mark turnout in November, which shows there really is an appetite among young people of Leicestershire to have their voices heard on matters that affect them.”
Daria Eckert, 17, from Oadby, has been on the Youth Parliament for the past two years and said: “I have been lucky to be a part of some really successful campaigns, including hosting an anti-hate crime event in partnership with Leicester city youth council and launching a curriculum pack for mental well-being with schools.
“Representing Leicestershire’s young people at national level has been a very rewarding experience and I have gained a lot from both the opportunities and the inspirational people I have met.”
Among the issues which the candidates are hoping will secure them a Parliamentary place are mental health, curriculum for life, transport and issues around the environment and LGBT support.
Each candidate’s full manifesto can be seen on https://www.leicestershire.gov.uk/youth-parliament and voting for the election closes on Friday, 9 February.