Hampshire’s young people encouraged to make their mark through consultation on campaigning issues

Hampshire’s young people are being asked by new Members of the Youth Parliament (MYPs) to let them know what issues matter most to them

Feb 20 2024

Cllrs Forster and Chadd with MYPs

Elected in December 2023, the county’s seven MYPs are at the forefront of Make Your Mark, a huge national poll for 11 to 18-year-olds, to pick two campaigning issues for the UK Youth Parliament to focus on over the next two years.

Choices include crime and safety, transport, the economy and the environment*. Votes can be cast through schools, colleges, and directly on the Hampshire Youth Parliament website until 8 March.

Councillor Steve Forster, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Education, emphasised the significance of listening to what young people have to say, commenting: "Democracy is about more than getting the vote at 18 – young people have the biggest stake in our future – indeed they are our future - and it is heartening to see them engaging so enthusiastically with important issues from an early age."

Collaboration between Hampshire’s MYPs and the County Council has been further developed with new participation opportunities for any young person interested in local issues and democracy through the Hampshire Youth Forum. 

The Forum, chaired by a Member of the Youth Parliament, encourages direct dialogue between young people and key influencers, including council leaders and Members of Parliament, and meets three times a year. The Forum, along with local youth councils across Hampshire, is open to all young people aged 11-18 who live or attend school in Hampshire. 

Councillor Forster added:  "The fact that the County Council’s Leader and Deputy Leader both attend and participate in the Youth Forum demonstrates how seriously we take young people’s views. The Forum’s February meeting gathered valuable insights which will help to inform our plans for shaping Hampshire’s future. 

“You are never too young to have a view on important issues, and I encourage any young person who wants to have their voice heard to firstly vote in the poll and, secondly, to join one of our forums to help us identify practical solutions."

For more information on joining a youth council and the Youth Parliament, interested individuals can email [email protected] .

Results of the Make your Mark poll will be announced in late March.