St Mary's Catholic College, Wallasey

St Mary's Catholic College
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Tom Laing Represents Wirral in Parliament

Tom Laing Represents Wirral in Parliament

Congratulations to Tom Laing who was recently elected to represent the views of the young people of Wirral in the UK Youth Parliament. As a Member of the Youth Parliament (MYP) he will serve a 12 month term of office representing the borough in regional and national sittings including the House of Commons. He will be active in engaging with MPs, senior officers, members of public bodies and youth forums in order to promote their manifestos and represent the young people of Wirral.

The UK Youth Parliament has over 364 representatives who are elected in annual youth elections throughout the UK. Any young person aged 11-18 can stand or vote. In the past two years one million young people have voted in UK Youth Parliament elections. Once elected MYPs organise events and projects, run campaigns and influence decision makers on the issues which matter most to young people. All MYPs have the opportunity to meet once a year at the UK Youth Parliament Annual Sitting.

Nationally, the views of young people are represented in the UKYP manifesto, which contains statements on the issues MYPs think are most important. MYPs across the UK work to give young people a voice – listening to marginalised groups, organising events, making films, meeting MPs, lobbying for change, organising campaigns and appearing in the media, all to amplify the views of their peers. The role of the MYP is increasingly being recognised at a local and national level. Some local authorities have given their MYPs equal status to their MPs, and UKYP works hard to enable MYPs to meet regularly with Government Ministers, Members of the Opposition and civil servants.

The top five topics recently debated by the MYPs were:

  1. Tackling racism and religious discrimination, particularly against people who are Muslim or Jewish. All young people should work together to combat racism and discrimination.
  2. Make public transport cheaper, better and accessible for all.
  3. Mental health services should be improved with young people’s help and mental health education should be compulsory and challenge stereotypes.
  4. A Curriculum to prepare us for life. Schools should cover topics including finance, sex and relationships and politics in the curriculum.
  5. Living Wage. Everyone should be able to live comfortably. Everyone aged 16 or over should be paid at least the Living Wage of £7.85 per hour (£9.15 in London).

The most important aspect of any MYP’s job is to make sure they represent the views of the young people in their constituency. Any MYP can set up a campaign, and any young person can support it and make a difference.

We wish Tom every success in this important role as a MYP for Wirral. We know he is passionate about the views of young people being heard and he will do everything he can to achieve this.

You can follow updates from Tom on Twitter with the username @Tom_Laing16