Nearly 9,000 young people in the City of Wolverhampton have made their mark by voting in a national poll – the most ever.
Some 8,713 people aged between 11 and 18 from the City took part in the United Kingdom Youth Parliament's Make Your Mark poll, which will decide which issues their Youth MPs will campaign on and debate in the House of Commons in the year ahead.
Wolverhampton Youth Council championed the poll, with people able to vote through local schools or youth groups, or by casting ballots online via the UKYP website, www.ukyouthparliament.org.uk.
Nationally, more than a million people are expected to have voted in the biggest youth consultation in the country, and asked to choose one issue from the 10 topics up for discussion. In Wolverhampton, young people voted for their Youth MPs to debate the development of work experience hubs for 11 to 18-year-olds and the issue of mental health among young people.
The national results will be announced next week, with the debate taking place on Friday 10 November during Parliament Week, a national initiative that aims to build a greater awareness of Parliament and the work it does. It will also be broadcast on the BBC Parliament channel.
Councillor Val Gibson, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “It is great to see so many young people in Wolverhampton taking part in the ballot this year – with 8,713 votes cast, compared to just over 5,000 last year.
“Our Youth MPs work really hard for Wolverhampton, and this is a great opportunity for them to debate the key issues affecting young people today.”
Wolverhampton Youth MP Amias Perry said: “Make Your Mark is a highly important vote which allows the voices of young people to be properly heard. It gives us with a way to make our opinions and views known to decision makers, and creates an opportunity for real change.”
Fellow Youth MP Millie Betteridge added: “Make Your Mark is an incredible opportunity for young people to act upon their concerns and frustrations and to realise the impact they can have on society.”