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Budding Renfrewshire politicians set for election

Renfrewshire is set to elect five new representatives to the Scottish Youth Parliament when voting opens in early March.

Renfrew High Head Teacher Billy Burke with pupils and Community Learning Officers Melissa Muir and John Kennedy

Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs) will represent Renfrewshire for a two-year term with two candidates elected from the Paisley constituency, two for Renfrewshire North and West and one for Renfrewshire South.

Renfrew High prefects

From Monday 6 March to Thursday 16 March anyone aged between 12-25 years old will be able to vote for who they want to represent them online via the Young Scot website.

Renfrewshire Council’s Youth Services team will also visit every secondary school in Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire Council Headquarters, West College Scotland and the University of the West of Scotland to ensure as many young people have the chance to take part.

Renfrew High Head Teacher Billy Burke with pupils and Community Learning Officers Melissa Muir and John Kennedy

All candidates, their manifestos and how to cast your vote for each Renfrewshire constituency can be found here: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/SYPElection.

Councillor Jacqueline Henry, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Education and Children Policy Board, said: “The Scottish Youth Parliament is a terrific chance for young people to have their voice heard and learn the intricacies of the political environment.

“The elected MSYPs will be the voice of their peers for the next two years so it is important that our young people take the opportunity to exercise their right to vote.

“I would encourage anyone eligible to take part to read the candidates manifestos and then choose who they want to be their representatives for Renfrewshire.”

The Scottish Youth Parliament is the democratically elected voice of Scotland’s young people and is made up of 150 young people, aged 14-25, who are selected through nationally co-ordinated elections held across Scotland every two years.

It is a politically independent parliament, designed by young people, led by young people and for the benefit of young people.

MSYP’s attend three sittings of the Scottish Youth Parliament in each year, and can also sit as members or conveners of committee groups.

John Kennedy, Community Learning Officer, said: “Renfrewshire has a long history of supporting youth democracy and  it is encouraging to see not only so many young people putting themselves forward as candidates- but also the large number of young people set to exercise their right to vote.

“Our team will be visiting secondary schools, the college and the university to ensure as many young people as possible have the chance to choose their representative and have Renfrewshire’s voice heard in the Youth Parliament.”

Elected MSYPs will campaign on key issues on behalf of young people in their local area and ensure that their voices are heard by decision makers.

The results of the election will be announced in Renfrewshire on Friday 17 March.