Young Essex Assembly members meet for the first time

Newly-elected members of the Young Essex Assembly

Newly-elected members of the Young Essex Assembly

First published in Epping Forest
Last updated
East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Sub Editor

Newly-elected members of a body that aims to give youngsters a voice have met for the first time.

The 75 Young Essex Assembly members, who will speak to schoolchildren across the county about the issues they want to see raised with the county council, had their first meeting on Saturday.

Almost 12,000 youngsters voted in elections for the 11 to 19-year-olds, which were held in schools and other polling stations across the county.

They also voted for the issues that were most important to them, which were bullying, children’s rights, crime, drugs, exam stress, jobs, a lack of things to do, school and smoking.

Essex County Council chairwoman Kay Twitchen said: “The assembly plays an important part in local government and we councillors need to make sure we listen to what they have to say.”

Comments (4)

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1:55pm Fri 8 Feb 13

BenMurphy says...

It seems like only yesterday we held the first ever Youth Parliament / Young Essex Assembly elections in the County Hall Chamber, certainly not 13 years ago! I feel very old, but very proud.
It seems like only yesterday we held the first ever Youth Parliament / Young Essex Assembly elections in the County Hall Chamber, certainly not 13 years ago! I feel very old, but very proud. BenMurphy
  • Score: 0

4:46pm Fri 8 Feb 13

Simon P. Hughes says...

“Almost 12,000 youngsters voted”; so under 12,000 votes were cast. It is very disappointing to see that so few young people are engaging with politics.

It would be interesting to know what the Youth Council are doing to rectify this.
“Almost 12,000 youngsters voted”; so under 12,000 votes were cast. It is very disappointing to see that so few young people are engaging with politics. It would be interesting to know what the Youth Council are doing to rectify this. Simon P. Hughes
  • Score: 0

6:34pm Fri 8 Feb 13

Cornbeefur says...

Hardly representative.

If you take of your Cranberry Tinted Spectacles you can actually see a few ethnic children.
Hardly representative. If you take of your Cranberry Tinted Spectacles you can actually see a few ethnic children. Cornbeefur
  • Score: 0

9:41pm Fri 8 Feb 13

BenMurphy says...

Simon P. Hughes wrote:
“Almost 12,000 youngsters voted”; so under 12,000 votes were cast. It is very disappointing to see that so few young people are engaging with politics.

It would be interesting to know what the Youth Council are doing to rectify this.
Simon, I don't actually think this related to youth apathy as you suggest. I think it's more about the organisation not having the resources to roll this out across the county in the way they do with statutory elections. I think there's also an impact from the increasing tiers of youth representation which have been established in the UK which now pretty much follow the same format as the tiers of Government.

The last set of Youth Council elections in the Epping Forest district saw more than 5,000 young people turnout to vote. This is the Young Essex Assembly. There are then elections for Members of Youth Parliament. Elections for representatives on the British Youth Council and there are similar youth organisation which focus on Europe and beyond.

Of course, I agree, the more young people involved in democratic elections the better! That said, Essex County Council spend very little money on the YEA. It does ask the question whether more people would vote if proper elections were called for young people, but the downside is that it could cost Essex as much as £1.8m (like it did for the recent Essex PCC elections which saw a 13% turnout).
[quote][p][bold]Simon P. Hughes[/bold] wrote: “Almost 12,000 youngsters voted”; so under 12,000 votes were cast. It is very disappointing to see that so few young people are engaging with politics. It would be interesting to know what the Youth Council are doing to rectify this.[/p][/quote]Simon, I don't actually think this related to youth apathy as you suggest. I think it's more about the organisation not having the resources to roll this out across the county in the way they do with statutory elections. I think there's also an impact from the increasing tiers of youth representation which have been established in the UK which now pretty much follow the same format as the tiers of Government. The last set of Youth Council elections in the Epping Forest district saw more than 5,000 young people turnout to vote. This is the Young Essex Assembly. There are then elections for Members of Youth Parliament. Elections for representatives on the British Youth Council and there are similar youth organisation which focus on Europe and beyond. Of course, I agree, the more young people involved in democratic elections the better! That said, Essex County Council spend very little money on the YEA. It does ask the question whether more people would vote if proper elections were called for young people, but the downside is that it could cost Essex as much as £1.8m (like it did for the recent Essex PCC elections which saw a 13% turnout). BenMurphy
  • Score: 0

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