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Children and young people's voice

Members of Youth Parliament (MYPs) 2020 Elections

UK Youth Parliament elections 2020

3 February to 14 February inclusive

Youth Parliament provides opportunities for those aged 11 to 18 years to use their elected voice to bring about social change through meaningful representation and campaigning. In Wiltshire this year 5 candidates are standing this for election in the three constituency areas of North, West and East Wiltshire. Each candidate has prepared an election manifesto and video, to be found below.

Young people and students are encouraged to vote for candidates in their constituency area only, as below.

Wiltshire North Constituency schools

Wiltshire East Constituency schools

Wiltshire West Constituency schools

Bradon Forest
John Bentley
Royal Wootton Bassett
St Mary's
St Nicholas

Avon Valley 
Bishop Wordsworth
Exeter House
Marlborough College
Pewsey Vale
St Edmund's
St John's
St Joseph's
Salisbury Cathedral School
South Wilts Grammar
Sarum Academy
Wellington Academy Wiltshire
Wyvern College

John of Gaunt
Melksham Oak
St Augustine's
St Laurence




Aanya Mary Verma

Heather Louise Newton
Sophie Marshall

Lewis Francis
Charlie Sweetman

Voting opens on 3 February 2019 and closes on 14 February 2019. To vote, young people should text the first name only of the candidate they are voting for. The text contact number for voting is 07537410120 . Any texts sent outside of the election period will not be counted. Texts are charged at standard UK mobile rate. Duplicate votes will not be counted.

NB. If there is only one candidate standing for an area. The votes casted will show support given for the issues that will be campaigned for within that area and the wider Wiltshire youth community.

It is possible that local candidates may approach you for help perhaps to allocate a slot for them to speak to other students, groups etc. and to promote the campaign more generally. Even if you do not have any young people standing this time around, any support for the election process you are able to give will make a significant contribution to promoting the voice of young people in decision making in Wiltshire. 

Election rules

  • Those eligible to vote are aged between 11 and 18 years.
  • Those eligible to vote must live, or go to boarding school, in Wiltshire.
  • Those who vote may only do so once.
  • Voting is not for adults, or those living outside of the election area.

If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact sarah.banks@wiltshire.gov.uk or call 07342 064355.

Very many thanks for your support. We will make the results known as soon after the 27 February as possible.

Wiltshire North

My name is Aanya Verma

I live in Corsham and go to Hardenhuish school
If I am elected to Youth Parliament I will be campaigning on 2 important issues.

The first is …. Reducing transport prices- This will provide many benefits to the children, parents, local community and even the environment. Children who sometimes miss out on the various clubs and other facilities available to them after school, can use local transport if it’s free. This will keep the children gainfully occupied. It will also help in reducing the stress and costs for parents who transport their children to various places, especially if they have more than one child with different interests and clubs. It will also help in reducing the traffic congestion and ultimately making the environment cleaner by less vehicles on the road reducing effects of climate change which is a big issue right now.

The second is … Homelessness 
Can you believe a person in a country like UK that claims to be a world super power has to sleep rough in this chilling cold because the circumstances turned against them. 
While we enjoyed a warm meal in the festive period with our loving family, please spare a thought for those who have no one to comfort them and will spend a night or may be more out with no hope and support. Not all of them are cheats or thugs who have themselves to blame but there are some genuine sufferers who have fallen on hard times due to no fault of their own. 
Let’s support them and let’s eradicate homelessness from our village, town and country. Let’s give those hope again who have given up all hope. Let’s help those who can’t help themselves.
I consider these to be important issues because …
Young people are the future generation and if we invest in them now, the whole society can reap benefits from that in long run.
If I am elected to Youth Parliament, I promise to raise awareness about these issues passionately and devote my time and energy to bring them to the forefront.


Wiltshire West

My name is Lewis Francis. I live in Melksham and go to Melksham Oak school.

If I am elected to youth parliament I will be campaigning on 2 important issues. 

The first is… How youth centres in Wiltshire west run. W will visit and observe youth centres and help them improve and make sure the people using the facilities will get their voices heard. 

The second is… I will ensure that all young people engaging in activities and youth clubs are secure and safe in those settings. I consider these to be important issues because… It is only right for young people to get their voice heard.  

If I am elected to Youth Parliament, I promise to stick to my role and always keep trying no matter what and I will make sure I act on the issues raised.


My name is Charlie Sweetman

I live in Trowbridge and go to The John of Gaunt School.

If I am elected to Youth Parliament I will be campaigning on 2 important issues. 

The first is tackling the climate and ecological crisis. In 2018 the IPCC released the ‘Special Report on Global Warming by 1.5 Degrees’ which tells us that we have 12 years, until 2030, to prevent our planet from heating by 1.5°C and the damage humans has caused is irreversible. If our industries do not act to reduce their carbon footprints and our government does not implement radical policy change to stop the warming of our atmosphere, we will begin face the worsened effects of: food and water shortages – which is already prevalent in the Global South; the obliteration of species – with approximately 200 species currently going extinct daily; rising sea levels – with major coastal cities expected to be underwater in less than half a century; and unprecedented weather conditions – which we have seen ourselves across the UK in the past few months through flooding on a mass scale. If you elect me as your MYP I promise to fight to get those in power to recognise that we are currently facing the sixth mass extinction which is an emergency that needs to be treated as such via the implementation of green policy (such as a Green New Deal), holding companies accountable for their devastating environmental track record and educating our generation about the impact of the climate crisis by addressing it within the national curriculum. 

The second is lowering the voting age to 16. We the youth have the largest stake in the future and yet we currently have no say or power over the issues shaping it. I believe as a generation we deserve the opportunity to democratically elect people who we believe will properly represent us, reflect our views and vote in our best interests. If elected I will campaign to get those in power to give us a political platform and the right to cast a vote ourselves by reducing the voting age from 18 to 16 years old.

I consider these to be important issues because if we do not act we will be the last generation to live on a planet capable of sustainably harbouring life and by allowing 16-17-year-old (nearly 1.5 million extra people) the right to vote, the course of an election could change dramatically and allow new environmental policy to be created.

If I am elected to Youth Parliament, I promise to campaign on tackling the climate ecological crisis and lowering the voting age to 16, in addition to any other issues my constituents raise. I will also support smaller UK Youth Parliament campaigns such as Welcoming Refugees and Ending Period Poverty in addition to a Curriculum for Life.


Wiltshire East

My Name is Sophie Marshall. 

I live in Salisbury and go to St Edmund’s Girls School.

If I am elected to Youth Parliament I will be campaigning on 3 important issues. The first is encouraging action against climate change and pollution in general. The second is action to help students, such as introducing later life learning into ever school and access to good mental health support. The third is the voting age being decreased to 16 years old.

I consider these to be important issues because climate change and pollution will affect all of us, so we can’t ignore it. Later life learning and mental health support in schools will help us in the long run – if we understand how our mental health works and how the ‘real world’ works, we will be less disadvantaged than those who go to schools that do learn these things. I also believe that the voting age should be lowered to 16 as the age of the consent is 16, so if we are mature enough to in the eyes of the law to make such decisions about our body, we should be mature enough in the eyes of the law to make decision about the government that will affect our future. 

If I am elected to Youth Parliament, I promise to be an active representative of the voice of my constiuents and to fight for what I will stand for as well as possible.


My name is  Heather Louise Newton.

I live in Amesbury and go to The Stonehenge school.

If I am elected to Youth Parliament I will be campaigning on 2 important issues. 

The first is …. Ensuring legislation, following a curriculum for life that will be introduced in September 2020, is followed through and includes important and relevant material for the young people that will be taught it.

The second is … Introducing Votes at 16 for young people in England. So many young people feel let down following the December 2019 election and upset that they don’t have a voice that is listened too. We will not carry on being silenced. Wales and Scotland have introduced votes at 16, England must follow.

I consider these to be important issues because these are important issues because being the MYP for a year I have been incredibly privileged to work with young people not only in the South West, but throughout the nation. These issues matter so much to young people and I must deliver on their behalf.

 If I am re-elected I promise to continue representing the Wiltshire young people to the best of my abilities, through regional meetings, national conferences and working with MPs.


Children and young people's voice and influence in Wiltshire

Wiltshire Council believes in co-designing and delivering services for children and young people, with children and young people. Such participation and involvement is coordinated by the Council’s Commissioning team under the Voice and Influence portfolio.


Voice and influence works to ensure the views of children and young people are heard and acted upon by decision-makers. It does this in partnership with schools, colleges, and voluntary sector organisations such as Healthwatch, as well as colleagues in commissioning, early help teams and across children’s services.

The portfolio also manages the Children in Care Council (CiCC) and the Wiltshire Youth Union (WYU). These groups meet regularly and welcome consultations and visitors. CiCC represents the views of Wiltshire’s looked after and care leaving populations.  Elected members of Youth Parliament co-chair the WYU, membership is encouraged across all of Wiltshire Youth Voice including those with special educational needs and/or disability, and those who are lesbian, gay and transgender. Both groups sit on committees, working groups and boards, including the Safeguarding Vulnerable People Partnership, Corporate Parenting Panel and the Children’s Select Committee, amongst others. Children and young people are supported to sit on interview panels for children’s services staff, consider tender evaluations for children’s services and offer feedback on Council documents and policies.


Young people’s participation in co-production activities must have value to all parties; young people must be offered the opportunity to input directly into all processes and demonstrate their skills, ask questions and offer constructive feedback. Young people with additional needs will be supported to engage as and when appropriate.

When committees, boards, and external organisation are requesting the participation of young people at meetings, events and training, all relevant information must be available in advance, with a clear description of the reason for the request. Voice and Influence coordinates such activity and prepares young people as necessary.


Voice and Influence will be able to advise should you wish to seek the views of children and young people in Wiltshire. Guidance is available to ensure that enough time is given to establish intended outcomes, identify cohorts of young people, and prepare them for the work. An 'expression of  interest' form can be requested. Wiltshire Council and external partners requesting young people’s input should set aside sufficient resources to enable that participation. These may include funding for transportation (including an accompanying adult if necessary), cost of meals (in line with legislation regarding young people in the work place), and loss of earnings (where a young person misses work as a result of providing the service).


Children and young people are not paid for their involvement in activities related to co-production but they can expect to be treated fairly and not be out of pocket for their activities.

  • Travel expenses will be refunded when travelling by public transport
  • Appropriate refreshments will be provided according to time of day and length of meeting
  • Achievements are celebrated appropriately
  • An annual social event is organised as a thank you
  • Certificates and letters of thanks are issued

By being involved in any co-production work, children and young people will see action and change take place, or be informed of the reasons why change does not or cannot take place. They will be able to explain how their views influenced decisions that were made, and be seen at all stages of decision making and commissioning in Wiltshire.

Every six months, a You Said, We did document is produced by Voice and Influence, which explains when and how children and young people have been involved and what the outcome has been. This is circulated to those involved in the work, as well as key officers within the council.


For more information, please contact voiceandinfluenceteam@wiltshire.gov.uk or WYU@wiltshire.gov.uk 


Find out more about the current Members of Youth Parliament

Wiltshire's Youth Parliament seats

Wiltshire Council is a member of the British Youth Council (BYC) which organises and runs the UK Youth Parliament. Wiltshire has three seats on Youth Parliament and holds annual elections for young people aged 11 to 18 years.

The current Members of Youth Parliament (MYPs) for Wiltshire are:

  • Heather Louise Newton Wiltshire East
  • Aanya Mary Verma Wiltshire West
  • Declan Kiely Wiltshire North

MYPs are expected to participate and have a leadership role within Wiltshire Youth Union.

Wiltshire has three seats on the Youth Parliament, as defined in the attached information.

Youth Parliament offers unique opportunities for those who have an interest in decision-making and in representing the views of peers. These will be young people who want to make positive change and who can, with support, hold their own in some challenging situations.

Members of Youth Parliament are expected to take a leadership role in the Wiltshire Youth Union (WYU). Any young person in Wiltshire can be a member of WYU and we encourage youth participation in the forum and welcome all newcomers who wish to get involved.

For more information contact sarah.banks@wiltshire.gov.uk, 07342 064355.

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Last updated: 7 February 2020 | Last reviewed: 7 February 2020