A record number of Leicestershire teenagers have cast votes in the UK’s largest survey of young people’s views.
New figures show that over 13,000 11-to-18-year-olds took part in the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) ballot this autumn – an impressive 38 per cent increase since last year.
Leicestershire County Council supports the national ‘make your mark’ campaign and has been urging young people to make their voices heard.
Voters are asked to choose their main concern from 10 issues and the top three for Leicestershire teenagers are public transport, mental health and tackling racism and religious discrimination.
Councillor Ivan Ould, cabinet member for children and families, said: “It’s really important that young people’s voices are heard and influence the design of services.
“I’m pleased that we’ve seen a record-breaking turnout in Leicestershire and hope that next year, the total number of votes cast nationwide tops the one million mark.“
The top five topics will be debated in the House of Commons by members of the UKYP on November 11 – this will determine what they campaign on for the next year.
Last year, the top national concern was mental health – this year ‘a curriculum to prepare us for life’ was number one – this would cover topics including finance, sex and relationships and politics in the curriculum. Tackling racism and religious discrimination has come second two years in a row.
Last year, ‘make your mark’ generated 969,992 votes nationwide and this year has seen a record breaking 978,216. Leicestershire had the best regional turnout in 2016 achieving 42.74 per cent of the vote for the East Midlands.
Although the nationwide votes will be taken to the House of Commons, the top three Leicestershire concerns will still be acted upon by CYCLe (The County Youth Council for Leicestershire) and the Borough and District Youth Councils.
More information on ‘make your mark’ is available at www.ukyouthparliament.org.uk – to follow the live debate on Twitter please visit @LYVMedia