Sunderland youth MPs urge young people to cast their ballots

Coun. Pat Smith (left) Portfolio Holder for Childresn Services, Sunderland City Council, with Members of the Youth Parliament at the launch of the national Make Your Mark ballot, at Sunderland Civic Centre on Wednesday.
Coun. Pat Smith (left) Portfolio Holder for Childresn Services, Sunderland City Council, with Members of the Youth Parliament at the launch of the national Make Your Mark ballot, at Sunderland Civic Centre on Wednesday.
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YOUNG city politicians have urged their peers to take part in a national vote to ensure the views of young people are heard in Westminster.

Brian Terry and Jaskaran Dhami, both Members of Youth Parliament (MYP), would like all 11 to 18-year-olds to cast their vote in this year’s Make Your Mark ballot, which is open until October 10.

The annual ballot gives youngsters the chance to vote on what issues they would like to see debated by MYPs who represent their views across the UK.

St Robert’s of Newminster pupil, Brian, aged 15, who lives in Chapel Garth, said: “We want to make this year’s Make Your Mark the best yet and get as many young people as possible in the city to vote.

“We launched the campaign at the Youth Development Group’s Smile Concert in Mowbray Park in August.

“Young people can make the difference to political life in their local, regional and national communities and we aim to give them the ability to do so and get involved.

“We hope that we will get more than 5,000 votes in Sunderland this year.”

Coun Pat Smith, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, Sunderland City Council, said: “Young people in Sunderland make a massive contribution to the life of our city.

“I hope as many of them as possible will take this opportunity to get involved with national youth politics.”

Voting is available online and on ballot papers available at schools, colleges and youth organisations.

Ten topics will be available to choose from, with the five most popular topics going on to be discussed by MYPs in their November debate, chaired by the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP, and broadcast live on BBC Parliament.