Hackney young people get ready to make their choice

Young people in Hackney have been making their presence felt in preparation of the Hackney Youth Parliament Elections, which take place between 13th and 16th October.

The elections will mark the culmination of a focused period for candidates. Throughout the summer, working with the Council’s Youth Service, Communications and Electoral Services Departments, as well as Hackney-based organisation Mouth That Roars, they participated in training and workshops to stand as candidates for the elections.

Councillor Rita Krishna, Cabinet member for Children’s Services said: “Hackney Youth Parliament gives young people in the borough the platform to influence policy and decision making, also the opportunity to use their passion and energy to represent the views of other young people on current issues. It is a real demonstration of the Hackney Youth Charter at work. Good luck to all the candidates.”

The candidates were first recruited to Area Forums, one in each of the four Neighbourhood Areas in Hackney – Stoke Newington, Shoreditch, Homerton and the North East.

The Forums are groups of young people who meet regularly to discuss the issues and concerns of young people in Hackney and to influence policy and decision making whilst also undertaking training, accreditation and gaining invaluable experience.

Candidates then made their pitch on camera and had photographs taken working with the Mouth That Roars, which will go into a candidate booklet and DVD for distribution across Hackney.

In total, 57 candidates attended a series of successful training days and developed candidate statements working alongside local councillors Matthew Coggins and Maureen Middleton.

They will have a chance to meet their electorate in Hackney Town Hall on 9 October. This will be an opportunity for other young people to quiz candidates on their respective manifestos.

Five members from each of the Area Forums will be elected by 11-19 year olds from across the borough. Members of the UK Youth Parliament and representatives of the LGBT and disabilities groups will also be represented in the Parliament.

The elections will take place online, for which young people have already registered. Voting will also take place in schools and youth clubs across the borough, ensuring that young people in Hackney are fully engaged in the democratic process of electing representatives to voice their issues, concerns and needs in the borough.

Candidates will experience the tension and excitement of a general election as they watch the results unfold at an event during Local Democracy Week at Hackney Town Hall on 16 October. Decisions will be based on the statements, electioneering, policies and personality of the candidates standing.

For more information on the Hackney Youth Parliament and Area Forums contact Michael Connors on 07772 227319 or visit