Cumbernauld Youth Parliament candidates announced
Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 19:40 GMT on Tuesday 5th March, 2013.

THE candidates aiming to represent the views of Cumbernauld and Kilsyth young people at the Scottish Youth Parliament have been announced.

On Saturday, Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, along with Scottish Youth Parliament Chair Grant Costello MSYP, and the full membership of the Scottish Youth Parliament, formally launched the SYP National Elections 2013 outside the Scottish Parliament.

These will be the biggest youth elections ever run in Scotland.  Candidates are standing in all 32 Scottish Local Authorities.  Over 280 young people will spend the next two weeks canvassing, campaigning, and convincing young people aged 12-25 across Scotland to vote for them as the voice of Scotland’s young people.  In the 2011 elections over 84,000 votes were cast – making this one of the largest youth participation events in Europe.

The elections will be launched immediately following the conclusion of the Scottish Youth Parliament’s 50th National Sitting – being held on the 1st-2nd of March at the Scottish Parliament.

Grant Costello MSYP, Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament, said: “The last two years have been the most successful in the history of the Scottish Youth Parliament.  We have taken the issues which matter to young people, on Equal Marriage, Votes at 16, and the Scottish Living Wage, and made Scotland’s leaders listen and act.

“It’s now time for a new membership to be elected.  For the first time MSYPs will be elected from every Local Authority in Scotland.  We’ve had more interest from young people than ever before, more candidates than ever before, and I am sure we’re going to have an even stronger membership elected this time.

“That’s crucial, because the challenges facing Scotland’s young people are enormous.  It’s the job of MSYPs to stand up for young people, both locally and nationally, to ensure their voice is heard.  That’s why, as we launch this election at the heart of Scottish democracy, I hope as many young people as possible take the time to vote, to ensure we have the best MSYPs, and can keep on standing up for Scotland’s young people.”

Cumbernauld and Kilsyth’s Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYP) helps to campaign and represent the views of young people in the local area; liaising with local businesses, charities, firms and politicians. Cumbernauld and Kilsyth’s outdoing MSYPs are Gerard Brown and Craig Haggerty. 

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “It is through youth work and youth participation organisations like the Scottish Youth Parliament, that hundreds of thousands of young people across Scotland are accessing a wide range of activities that help them to build knowledge, capacity and skills in preparation for further learning and employment.

“We want to make sure that our young people today have the right to engage in Scotland’s democratic process.  We want to give them the right to voice their views freely and confidently on all matters that affect them.  We believe 16 and 17 year olds should be able to vote in all elections.  And we will be ensuring that they can vote in the referendum on Scotland’s future next year.

“With the launch today of the SYP National Elections, and voting due to take place all over Scotland until 15 March – it is an exciting dawn for many young people who will join as MSYPs – and an exciting future for us all. ”

The prospective candidates for the MSYP position, in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth, are available to read about on the Scottish Youth Parliament website

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