Callum Crozier from Prudhoe and Simon Pickles from Morpeth will join over 300 elected members of Youth Parliament at a national debate in the House of Commons on Friday 23 November 2012, to decide the UK Youth Parliament’s priority campaign for 2013.
Callum,16, who attends Prudhoe Community High School will also be a North East debate lead, opening the discussion on making public transport, cheaper, better and accessible for all.
The debate, chaired by the Speaker of the House of Commons Rt. Hon John Bercow MP and broadcast live on BBC Parliament, will focus on the top five issues chosen by more than 250,000 young people in the UK Youth Parliament’s Make Your Mark ballot earlier this year. At the end of the five debates, Members of Youth Parliament will vote to decide which issue will become their national campaign for 2013. The five issues up for debate are:
- Make public transport cheaper, better and accessible for all, which was chosen as the UK Youth Parliament’s national campaign in 2012
- Getting ready for work
- Marriage for all
- An equal National Minimum Wage for all
- A curriculum to prepare us for life, which was chosen directly by Members of the Youth Parliament.
This debate marks the finale of Parliament Week – an annual national awareness week which aims to build greater understanding and engagement with parliamentary democracy in the UK. It is the fourth time that the UK Youth Parliament has debated in the House of Commons Chamber and they are the only group, other than MPs, allowed to do so.
Councillor Lesley Rickerby, executive member for children and young people, said: “I’d like to congratulate Callum and everyone involved in engaging young people in Northumberland in this initiative. It’s great to have young people acting as ambassadors for the county.”
Each debate topic will be introduced with speeches from regionally elected Members of Youth Parliament, who will put forward arguments for and against the issue, before opening up to the floor. Following the five debates, each Member of Youth Parliament in the Chamber will vote for their top issue. Ballot papers will be collected and counted by House of Commons staff, and the result will be announced by the Speaker of the House of Commons at the end of the event.