Tabitha Rusden is the current Member of UK Youth Parliament (MYP) for the Borough of Rochdale and her term of office will end on 28th February 2017. So, who will take her place? Young people from across the borough applied to be the next MYP and on Thursday 8th December applicants attended an interview, during which they were observed by members of Rochdale Borough Youth Cabinet and young people from other youth groups. They took part in some team activities including a mannequin challenge, art tasks, a murder mystery and planning a campaign against hate crime relating to gender, LGBT and disability. No-one knew who in the room had applied to be the next MYP until the end of the evening when the applicants gave their 1 minute speech, telling everyone who they were, their age, which school they attend and what 3 issues they would campaign on if they were elected as the new MYP.
After the speeches, all young people in the room voted which 6 applicants should go through to the democratic elections. The 6 candidates voted through to the elections are:
Ish Hasnain - Bacup & Rawtenstall Grammar School
Laila Kayani - Wardle Academy
Louis Tweedale - Hollingworth Academy
Jakob Vogan-Fox - Middleton Technology School
Mohammed Shajjah - Falinge Park High School
Sarah Mahmood - Hollingworth Academy
What happens next? All 6 candidates have filmed a 1 minute video about who they are and what their manifesto would be if they are elected as the new MYP. In January and early February, Rochdale Youth Service will be in schools, colleges and youth groups giving young people the opportunity to vote who the next MYP should be and young people will also be able to vote online. In some schools, young people are being trained to run the elections in assemblies themselves.
On Wednesday 15th February, the election results event will take place at Rochdale Town Hall and the new MYP and deputy MYP will be elected and begin their roles from 1st March 2017. Throughout their year they will campaign on their 3 issues to make life better for young people across the Rochdale Borough, campaigning on a larger scale regionally and nationally and being involved in consultations, events and getting out to listen to young people. If you are aged 11-19 and want to have your say in the elections, watch out for Rochdale Youth Service in schools, colleges and youth groups and look out for the online voting link in January and February!