Young people's issues heard in Parliament

Wigan and Leigh Youth Cabinet get ready to travel to London
Wigan and Leigh Youth Cabinet get ready to travel to London

More than 17,000 11 to 17-year-olds from Wigan and Leigh have had their say in a national ballot designed to determine what the biggest concerns are for young people.

The Make Your Mark ballot is co-ordinated nationally by the UK Youth Parliament and facilitated locally by Wigan Council and young people from Wigan and Leigh Youth Cabinet.

A total of 17,191 young people in Wigan and Leigh voted, placing the borough 10th across the UK for votes generated and equating to a 57 per cent turn-out of young people in the borough.

Anthony Pasquile, 15, from Leigh, is a member of Wigan and Leigh Youth Cabinet. He said: “Promoting Make Your Mark in schools was hard work.

“It wasn’t easy to stand in front of 800 students in a full school assembly and ask people to vote. So the results feel like a big accomplishment.”

The top three issues voted for in Wigan and Leigh, were:

l Mental health. Services should be improved with young people’s help.

l Knife crime. The Government need to do more to put an end to knife crime.

l Equal pay for equal work. Young people should be paid the same amount as adults if they are doing the same job.

In celebration of UK Parliament Week, UK Youth Parliament member for Wigan and Leigh, William Powell, 14, from Orrell and Deputy Member Samuel Miller, 15, from Ashton, went to the House of Commons for the parliament’s annual sitting.

They were among those who debated and voted for the issues that the body should campaign on nationally over the next year.

On Friday, young people from high schools across the borough have been invited to discuss mental health as part of a debate event to mark UK Parliament Week locally.