Young people in Renfrewshire are being called upon to decide who should represent them over the next two years at the Scottish Youth Parliament.
Budding politicians will be seeking the support of their peers to become one of five new representatives to the Scottish Youth Parliament when voting opens in mid-March.
Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs) 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.
From Friday 15 March to Thursday 28 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.
Current MSYP for Renfrewshire, Maria Alam, said: “My experience at the Scottish Youth Parliament has been amazing. I have been so lucky to meet new people and attend the sittings.
“I think it’s important that you vote for your MSYP, so you can have someone that you believe will represent you equally in the Scottish Youth Parliament. Don’t miss this chance to have a say!”
Renfrewshire Council’s Youth Services team will also visit secondary schools throughout Renfrewshire, West College Scotland and the University of the West of Scotland to ensure as many young people have the chance to take part as possible.
John Kennedy, Community Learning Officer, said: “Becoming an MSYP is a great opportunity for young people to sample what it is like to be a politician, while having the chance to make a real difference within Renfrewshire.
“They will be the voice of young people for the area so it’s important that everyone takes the time to read about the candidates and cast their vote for who they would like to represent them.”
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.
Councillor Michelle Campbell, Young Person’s Champion for Renfrewshire, said: “The Scottish Youth Parliament is a fantastic way for young people to get involved in politics and I’m delighted to see so many young people standing for election.
“It’s a chance for them to represent their peers, take forward the issues they encounter locally and have their voices heard on a national level.
“I want to encourage all young people to cast their vote in the election as these will be the people representing you for the next two years, so take the time to find out who’s standing and pick who you want to stand on your behalf.”
The results of the election in Renfrewshire will be announced in the council chambers on Friday 29 March.
All candidates, their manifestos and how to cast your vote for each Renfrewshire constituency can be found here: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/SYP2019.