Record turn-out for Hackney Youth Parliament elections
After months of writing manifestos, speaking at hustings and campaigning at schools and youth clubs, 24 young people aged 11-19 were elected to represent their peers for the next two years.
Around 100 young people gathered at the Forest Road Young Hackney Centre to hear the results on 15 October, after an impressive 47% turnout.
While votes were being counted by the Council’s Electoral Services team, they had the opportunity to question a panel of leaders from across Hackney at the annual Mayor’s Q&A, which marks Local Democracy Week.
Hackney’s Assistant Director of Children’s Services, Sheila Durr, chaired the session. The panel included the Mayor of Hackney Jules Pipe, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Chief Inspector Simon Crick, Head of Service for Young Hackney Pauline Adams and outgoing member of Hackney Youth Parliament Kennedy Nwosu.Issues discussed included housing, employment, crime, work experience opportunities and lowering the voting age to 16.
After the Q&A, young people found out about opportunities and ways to get involved in shaping life for young people at a Democracy Fair.
Newly elected Member of Hackney Youth Parliament, Beth Foster-Ogg, 17, of Clapton Girls’ School, said: “I was inspired to get involved by a girl at my school who was a Member. I’m quite politically engaged and she told me it was a good way to influence and make changes.
“I’m looking forward to working with the other Members and talking to young people across Hackney. I’m keen to work on issues I care about like housing, educating people about mental health and FGM. I also want to make young people more politically engaged.”
Luke Odunaike, 16, attends Young Hackney hub The Edge. He said: “I’m really excited to have been elected. I want to encourage young people to have the right mind set, to make sure they follow the right paths and access all the opportunities available to them.”
The parliament meets every week and will start work on their first campaign in the coming months.Previous Members include “singing politician” and winner of BBC talent show The Voice, Jermain Jackman, and Ife Grillo, who represents Hackney in the national Youth Parliament and is currently working with the EU on youth campaigns.
I’m delighted that so many people used their vote to make their voice heard in this important election, and I’m proud to have such politically engaged young people in Hackney.
For those who’ve been elected, the hard work – and the fun – starts now. I’m looking forward to working with them over the next two years and finding out what matters to them. I’m sure they’ll achieve a great deal, and I’d encourage all young people to find out who represents them and to get in touch with them if they have any concerns or ideas about how to improve life for young people in Hackney.
For more information visit: www.younghackney.org
The new Members of Hackney Youth Parliament are: