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New Youth Parliament members take seats after 32,000 votes
9:46am Thursday 21st February 2013 in Latest News
The new members of Wiltshire’s Assembly of Youth (WAY) will take their seats today for their very first meeting following a successful election campaign which saw more than 32,000 young people vote for candidates by mobile phone.
Wiltshire residents aged 11 to 19 years were able to vote for candidates for the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) and WAY.
During the election week 32,198 young people voted for the 10 new candidates. Wiltshire’s turnout for youth elections, which are organised by Wiltshire Council, has always been high with previous campaigns attracting some of the highest in the country.
The new representatives have already had their first taste of democracy at a UKYP handover meeting where outgoing members gave their seats over officially to the new members at Bridgwater YMCA.
All of the candidates standing also won seats for WAY and the first meeting of the newly elected group will take place today at The Wiltshire Scout Centre in Potterne Wick.
WAY was set up by Wiltshire Council’s predecessor Wiltshire County Council. WAY members sit on a number of strategic boards for Wiltshire Council, ensuring children and young people’s views and best interests are being heard. They have influence on decisions affecting children, safeguarding and services delivered to young people.
Lionel Grundy, cabinet member for children services said: “Thousands of young people took the time to vote. Now we are looking forward to working with these elected candidates to ensure they can be a key part of our decision making on issues that affect young people in Wiltshire.”
Chloe Lintern (14), from Corsham, who retained her seat on WAY, said: “I enjoyed election week a lot. I got to talk to so many young people and canvas what I want to change in Wiltshire. I'm looking forward to making a difference for young people in Wiltshire over the next three years and I hope we can build on our recent successes going forward into my second term.”
Caitlin Thacker (14) elected WAY Rep for Trowbridge, West said: “The election was great, better than I expected. I am now excited for the future and for what WAY can do to make our community more enjoyable and positive for young people”.
Jordan Green, 13 of Melksham, Kieran Mulvaney, 15 of Chippenham, and Salisbury's Josh Constable, Aodhan Burnell and Charles McGrath join existing members Ellie Pullen, 17 of Westbury, and Simone Snashall, 15, of Malmesbury, as WAY and UKYP representatives.
James Davies,16, of Bradford on Avon, West),Hannah Kamphaug, 14, of Chippenham, and Sam Gallacher, 12 (Amesbury, East) are newly elected WAY representatives.
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