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City's Youth Take To The Hustings

Children from Coventry will be trying to get themselves elected to parliament on Saturday to get a say for the cityís young people at a national level.

The first UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) election in the city is being held at Coventry City Football Club at 10am.

Two representatives will be chosen to take issues affecting the city to the highest level. They will also link into other youth forums in the city to get the views of children across Coventry.

The elections will be held with hustings and a ballot at the end of a day of workshops explaining the political system.

Peter Longden from Coventry Youth Service, who is organising the elections, said the parliament was being set up as part of efforts to promote a greater civic involvement among young people:

"It's important that young people take every opportunity to directly influence local and national government.

ďIím interested in encouraging young people to take an interest. If it relates more to their everyday life then they are more likely to get involved, and this will help do this.Ē

The first sitting of the UK Youth Parliament, which will be made up of over 400 MYPs, will in February, and the MYPs will initially serve for a year.

Their manifesto will be presented to Tony Blairís cabinet, parliament, party leaders and service providers to inform them about the impact of their adult decisions on children and young people.

Cllr George Duggins, cabinet member (Education and Library Services) said:

"Young people are the opinion-formers of the future, and they can have a great influence on issues that affect them if they are given the opportunity to do so.

"The Youth Parliament is such an opportunity and I hope that young people will choose to get involved."

John Dalziel, a member of Coventry Youth Council said:

"In order to form a thriving community in which views can be shared and passed from generation to generation, it is essential for all age groups to take part in political issues and processes together.

If anybody is interested in becoming an MYP or would simply like to attend the day they should contact Pete Longden on 024 76405700 or simply turn up on the day.
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CWN / Politics / Coventry City Council / 26 Oct 00
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