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Making their mark - Norfolk youth councillors take their campaign to The Forum in Norwich. From left: Annie Baldwin, Broadland, Sarah Freestone, Great Yarmouth, Rory Cruickshank, Norwich South, and Izzy Pitman, South Norfolk. Photo: Bill Smith
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Youth councillors spent the day in Norwich yesterday campaigning and finding out about issues which mattered to young people.
Four representatives from Norfolk Youth Council, Annie Baldwin, 14, who attends Acle High School and is the member of youth parliament for Broadland, Rory Cruickshank, 13, of the Norwich School and represents Norwich South, East Norfolk Sixth-Form College student Sarah Freestone, 17, who represents Great Yarmouth, and Izzy Pitman, 15, from Framingham Earl High School and member of youth parliament for Broadland, met with their supporters outside the Forum yesterday.
Annie said: “There’s a group of us in youth parliament and we help to decide national priorities.
“We give young people from across the county an opportunity to have their say.
“We focus on things which matter to young people. One of the things which we are looking into is the quality of citizenship education in schools.
“We want to make sure that young people are getting the quality of education that they deserve.”
People under 18 could vote for five issues which mattered the most to them from a chosen list including getting ready for work, an equal minimum wage for all and working to improve relationships between young people and the police.
The five most popular ones which they choose will go to a House of Commons debate.
The UK Youth Parliament’s House of Commons sitting is part of parliament week, which runs from November 19 to 25.
The Norfolk youth councillors were elected in March and will sit for two years.
Izzy said: “We have done quite a lot. We have been working together in the Norfolk group and we have done some regional work and been to two conferences.
“It’s good to be involved in something like this.”
The youngsters recently enjoyed success when they secured a third off travel for 16- to 18-year-olds.
“We were the first youth council in the country to win a campaign. It’s a great feeling. The campaign was started by the youth group before us and has been running since last November,” she added.
Ben Dunne, from Norfolk County Council, who works with the young councillors, said: “Transport has been on the agenda for a long time.
“The youth councillors have drawn up their own manifesto. They are doing incredibly well and they are doing Norfolk proud.
“The day at the Forum was a good opportunity for them to go out there in their community and speak to young people under 18 about issues which matter to them.”
Do you have a story about youngsters who are improving their community? Call reporter Lucy Wright on 01603 772439 or email firstname.lastname@example.org