County’s youth vote on debate issues

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Brought to you by the Morpeth Herald.

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Record numbers of Northumberland pupils have voted on what they would like to see discussed during this year’s UK Youth Parliament debate.

Nearly 7,000 students across the county participated in the national ballot, which decides what will be debated during the House of Commons sitting tomorrow.

A total of 978,216 young people aged 11 to 18 voted across the country. An education issue, tackling racism and religious discrimination, public transport, lowering the voting age to 16 and ‘cuts to the NHS’ were chosen to be the agenda subjects.

They will be discussed by up to 300 elected young representatives and the session will be chaired by John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons.

The annual Make Your Mark ballot was championed by Youth Parliament memb-ers, volunteers across the UK, local authorities and schools.

Coun Robert Arckless, cabinet member for children’s services at the county council, said: “This ballot is a great way for young people to have a voice and influence the things that matter to them most.”

The most popular topic was a ‘curriculum for life’, which calls on schools to cover subjects such as finance, sex and relationships and politics to better prepare young people for life after school.

The Northumberland Youth Parliament representatives at the sitting will be Jamie Macaulay (Duchess’s Community High School, Alnwick) and Abjol Miah (Astley High School, Seaton Delaval).