UK Youth Parliament needs youHampshire County Council is looking for young people aged 11 – 18 to be the voice of young people in Hampshire, as members of the UK Youth Parliament from 2015 – 2017.

Hampshire is inviting nominations from candidates to take the four seats it has available for the 2015 UK Youth Parliament elections. Those nominated must live in Hampshire and be a UK resident.

Young people across the county will then have the chance to vote for who they would like to see representing Hampshire in the UK Youth Parliament.

A central briefing workshop for young people wishing to stand for election as a Member of Youth Parliament (MYP) in their respective constituencies will be held on Saturday 24 January at Hampshire County Council headquarters in Winchester. The day will commence at 10:00am and finish at 1:00pm, and refreshments will be provided.

Prospective candidates must attend this event in order to complete their election statements and must inform the County Council of their intention to do so by registering at www.hants.gov.uk/ukyp-elections2015 by Thursday January 15.

Candidates will be able to stand for election for the following geographical areas:

• New Forest/Test Valley

• Eastleigh and Winchester/Basingstoke

• Fareham and Gosport/Havant

• Hart and Rushmoor/East Hants

While no formal criteria are necessary to become an MYP, candidates should be a young person who:

• will take their responsibilities seriously;

• has an interest in relevant matters and a view on topical issues;

• will listen to and respect the views of their peer group and those of others;

• can speak their mind;

• will ask for support, advice and help if required;

• is committed, lively and outgoing.

The role of an MYP requires commitment both in time and effort, this includes attending meetings with Hampshire County Council decision makers; taking part in training; and taking part in Hampshire County Youth Conferences.

Councillor Keith Mans, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services, and Deputy Leader, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for young people to learn more about democracy and decision making, and to represent their peers in the community.

Hampshire County Council is dedicated to providing young people with opportunities to get involved in the democratic process and to make their voices heard about the issues that matter most to them. I encourage anyone interested in this exciting opportunity to come forward and stand for election, and I also hope as many young people as possible get involved by voting for their preferred candidate.”

The Elections will be held between February 2 and February 13. Voting will take place online at www.mi-vote.com by using a unique voter code. Voters can pick up their code from their school or college.

Once voting has finished, votes will be counted and the results announced on February 23.

The candidate in each geographical area with the highest number of votes will become the MYP. The candidate with the second highest number of votes in each geographical area will become the Deputy MYP.

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