Giving young people in Wales a voice – first ever Welsh Youth Parliament Members announced
In a historic moment, the Llywydd of the National Assembly for Wales, Elin Jones AM, has named the 60 members of the first Welsh Youth Parliament.
Following a three week election campaign across the country, the Llywydd made the announcement in front of Assembly Members during Plenary at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay on Wednesday, 5 December 2018.
The Welsh Youth Parliament will give children and young people across Wales a powerful voice on matters which affect their lives by working alongside the National Assembly for Wales.
More than 480 candidates contested 40 constituency seats in Wales, giving people aged between 11 and 18 years old a real choice of who would represent them.
20 more candidates have been elected from partner organisations to reflect the make-up of Wales and to ensure the representation of diverse groups of young people.
Speaking during Plenary, Llywydd of the National Assembly for Wales, Elin Jones AM, said:
“Today marks a special occasion in the history of our National Assembly.
“As we look forward to celebrating twenty years since the creation of a parliament for Wales next year, I am pleased to announce that this place is about to become the home of another exciting parliament - our first ever Youth Parliament.
This is the culmination of many months of work by organisations, schools, and the Assembly's dedicated Education and Youth Engagement team, and it is a huge debt to everyone who ensured that this innovative project is thriving.
“This is a golden opportunity to empower the next generation and I am confident that this group will be great champions for the issues that are important to the young people of Wales today.”
Anyone aged between 11-18 and living in Wales was eligible to vote with more than 25,000 registering to do so. Voters had three weeks in November to cast their vote electronically. Each registered voter received a unique code to make their choice.
It’s believed this the first time electronic voting has ever been used in an inaugural election in the UK.
All Youth Parliament Members (MWYPs) will serve a two year term. It will empower young people to identify, raise awareness of and debate the important issues which matter to them.
Welsh Youth Parliament Members are non-partisan and should not belong to any party.
The National Assembly is currently holding a poll giving young people the chance to say what issues they think the first Welsh Youth Parliament should be looking at.
The Welsh Youth Parliament will meet for the first time in February next year.