YOUNG people are being urged to vote and have their say on key issues for Wiltshire and the south west by taking part in elections this week.
Fourteen candidates from across Wiltshire are standing for nomination to the Wiltshire Assembly of Youth (WAY) and the UK Youth Parliament Elections (UKYP).
WAY and UKYP sit on a number of key boards ensuring children and young people’s views and best interests are being heard. They have influence on decisions affecting children, safeguarding and services delivered to young people.
Voting opened on Monday and runs until midnight on February 16. Organisers hope young people aged 11 to 19 will vote in their thousands and exceed last year’s participation when 70 per cent of those eligible voted.
This is the eleventh year of youth elections and involving young people in the democratic process. Liam Harding, 19, from Salisbury, who is standing for WAY, East Wiltshire said: “I am happy and excited about the WAY & UKYP elections and I look forward to seeing how far I get. I think young people need more chances to talk and get their views heard and I’d love to be able to help them do that."
Courtney Pickering, 15, of Old Sarum, Salisbury, who is standing for UKYP and WAY, East Wiltshire said: “I'm excited for the elections and I think it’s going to be a close call with the votes. I decided to partake because it’s finally a chance to be able to say your views and try and make a change for the better in a good and effective way.”
Information on all the candidate’s manifestos is available to view at sparksite.co.uk.
Young people can vote by free text message on 80800.