Citizen

What matters to Slough’s young people?

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The annual Make Your Mark ballot is the UK’s largest youth consultation.

Across the country, young people aged 11-18 voted online, in schools and at youth groups, to say which issues are most important to them.

This year in Slough 7,883 young people took part, which gives us the highest percentage turnout (67%) in the southeast and second highest in the UK. In 2013 only one person in Slough voted.

Slough’s Member of UK Youth Parliament (UKYP), Alaa Fawaz, 15, coordinated Slough’s participation in this year’s Make Your Mark campaign, where voting ended on 5 October.

She said: “I am extremely proud of Slough for getting the second highest turnout in the UK and breaking records two years running. The response this year was really positive with nearly every secondary school taking part. This is a huge opportunity for young people to have their voice heard.”

Top five 

Young people voted on 10 topics, to decide which are the most important.

The five hot topics which matter most to young people in Slough are:

  1. Tackling racism and religious discrimination (1,735 votes)
  2. A curriculum to prepare young people for life (1,213 votes)
  3. Make public transport cheaper, better and accessible for all (51,060 votes)
  4. Votes at 16 (960 votes)
  5. First aid education for all young people (811 votes). 

Slough’s Youth Parliament will now bring these results to the attention of councillors and other local decision makers to discuss next steps.

Cllr Sabia Hussain, commissioner for education and children's services and deputy leader of the council, said: “It is great to give young people this opportunity to have their say. They are the citizens of the future and it’s important to engage them with politics now.”

The five top issues nationally were debated by the UKYP in the House of Commons on 11 November, chaired by Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. John Bercow.

The top two issues chosen by UK Youth Parliament were votes at 16 for their national campaign and a curriculum for life for their England only campaign. 

This year was the second time Slough has been represented with youth parliament member, Alaa, 15, speaking in favour of making public transport cheaper and accessible for all particularly raising the issue of adult fares for young people.

Slough’s Youth Parliament is supported by SBC’s young people’s service. 

For more information on Slough’s youth voice initiatives please email sloughforyouth@slough.gov.uk

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