After weeks of campaigning by 12 contenders, and votes by some 14,000 young people (27,840 votes cast in total), the four successful candidates were announced on Friday 2 February, at a ceremony at County Hall, Dorchester.
The new Members of the Youth Parliament (MYPs) are: Laurence Hayward,15, of Sturminster Newton High School, and Rory Baird,18, of The Gryphon School in Sherborne.
The deputies are: Matthew Parslow,15, of Queen Elizabeth’s School, Wimborne Minster and Stasia Smith,14, of Ferndown Upper School.
The role of the MYPs is to represent Dorset on a regional and national basis, and help engage young people in politics, democracy and citizenship. They will also work to deliver their own personal manifestos to improve the lives of young people.
The voting process was managed by Dorset County Council. Deborah Croney, cabinet member for education, learning and skills. She said: “It’s fantastic that so many young people are passionate about making Dorset a better place. I’m sure the successful candidates will do an excellent job in representing the aspirations of youngsters across the county. I look forward to seeing them debating in the Houses of Parliament and supporting them to deliver their manifestos here in Dorset.”
The candidates’ manifestos are:
Laurence Hayward (15)
- I want gender equality. I want us all to learn how to treat one another with respect to help and empower us all.
- I would like better ways for young people to deal with exam stress.
- I want all opinions to be heard, so I will fight for youth voice to be listened to.
Rory Baird (18)
- I will increase the number of job opportunities for young people.
- I will raise awareness of post-18 options which don’t involve universities.
- I will make transport available more frequently and to more rural locations.
Matthew Parslow (15)
- I want to empower young people to live with mental health issues through caring, accessible support.
- I want to prepare you for adult life through a carefully planned curriculum.
- I want to enable you to have meaningful work experience. Specialised hubs can provide this!
Stasia Smith (14)
- I want everyone to have access to resources which will reduce exam stress.
- Students want to be treated like real people. I will champion student voice in Dorset.
- Young people should have accessible and frequent transport in Dorset. I will promise to help this to become possible.
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