Voting opens in Norfolk Youth Parliament elections

The winner of the Norfolk Youth Parliament elections will be announced at County Hall on Tuesday Mar

The winner of the Norfolk Youth Parliament elections will be announced at County Hall on Tuesday March 27. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

Young people across Norfolk have the chance to vote for their peers as the elections for the youth parliament get under way.

Voting has opened in the Norfolk Youth Parliament elections. Picture: Norfolk County Council

Voting has opened in the Norfolk Youth Parliament elections. Picture: Norfolk County Council - Credit: Archant

For the past month, 17 candidates have been campaigning for the right to represent the county's youth on both the regional and national stage.

Thousands of young people are expected to vote across four areas of the county - north, east, west, and central and south - with one candidate being elected in each area.

Those elected will spend two years in office and will have the chance to debate in the House of Commons and work with regional MPs and councillors.

Penny Carpenter, chairman of the Children's Services Committee, said: 'We look forward to welcoming the next group and hearing about the things they want us to take action on to make life better for young people across Norfolk.'

Everyone in Norfolk aged 11 to 18 is entitled to cast one vote online between March 19 and 23 at

The winners will be announced at County Hall on Tuesday, March 27.

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Norfolk Youth Parliament candidates on why they are running

East Norfolk

• Jake Bowler: 'Politics is often associated with old biddies who don't care about the issues affecting young people. If elected, I will change that.'

• Cameron Hodds: 'Simply put, #YouthVoice needs to more widely broadcast. If you #VoteCam - dreams and wishes you have for East Norfolk will become a reality, that's a promise.'

North Norfolk

• Daisy Lewin: 'The three key areas I stand for are: rights for the LGBT community, mental health awareness and votes for 16/17 year olds. I would be proud to represent you.'

• Fee Robinson: 'I want to improve mental health service in schools. I regularly use Norfolk's mental health service and know what change is needed. On top of this, I'm desperate to improve the representation of young people.'

• April Haywood: 'I am keen to see a future where: transport is affordable and accessible, mental health support services are better, broadband is more reliable and young people have opportunities to be who we want to be.'

West Norfolk

Jacob Morton: 'I want to campaign for a reformed, more exciting and practical secondary school curriculum, more support for those suffering from mental health issues, rights to vote and receive the minimum wage for over 16s and first aid training for all young people.'

Leanne Smart: 'I believe I can make a difference to young people's lives and can make their voices heard. I like to find out others' opinions and listen to them.'

Oscar Holland: 'I believe that young people have valuable opinions and that listening to these opinions can make a positive difference to our country.'

Hannah Cork: 'I want to change your present and your future. I want to speak up for you.'

Jake Dorman: 'With a passion for debating and politics, and an aspiration to make Norfolk a better place for youth, I show confidence, devotion and compassion in what I believe in and I am ready to represent any viewpoints you as young people may have.'

Central and South Norfolk

Sophie Mattholie: 'I chose to stand for Youth Parliament because I think that young people are often disregarded by people of authority. I am passionate about mental health, young carers' awareness and gender equality.'

Beeda Tarkpessi: 'My priorities are: votes at 16, wider opportunities for apprenticeships, affordable transport and making first aid compulsory in all schools.'

Lola Carey: 'The reason I want this opportunity is I really want to stop mental health issues among young people. I know this is isn't going to be easy but it is something that needs to be dealt with right here and now.'

Ewan Brett: 'I care deeply about this beautiful county. I will campaign for Norfolk to become plastic free. I believe young people should have a say in our future. I will petition for a 16 plus vote on the Brexit deal.'

Chloe Betts: 'I care about racism, LGBT bullying and mental health for young people. Help me get elected to help our community and our city.'

Ruby Sweetman: 'I'm a passionate, world citizen who wants to make the world more considerate. But I can't do this alone. Give me your vote and I'll give you a voice. If you're shy or misunderstood - I'll speak for you. I'll fight for your rights and beliefs, no matter who you are.

Amado Bari: 'I am passionate about young people being able to accomplish anything, no matter their race, disability, sexuality or gender.'