THE town’s young people have only days left to decide who to vote for in the hotly contested Youth MP election.
Eight young people from Bolton are campaigning for a seat on the National UK Youth Parliament to make and influence decisions to benefit the town’s teenagers and children.
Candidates are busy canvassing votes before the online election closes on Thursday.
The prospective “Parliamentary” candidates have conducted high-profile campaigns using social media to project the issues they intend to focus on, in a bid to win votes.
They are: Aaliyah Iqbal, aged 13, from Ladybridge School; James Casterton, aged 15, from Turton School; Haval Kareem, aged 15, from Essa Academy; Tresor Mybui, aged 16, from Thornleigh Salesian College; Joshua Crossley, aged 18, from Rumworth School; Ebony Cropper, aged 15, from Bolton St Catherine’s Academy; Ryan Wallwork, aged 16, from Bolton Sixth Form; Emily Raby, aged 15, from Mount St Joseph School.
Each one has prepared a short speech about what they hope to achieve and the campaigns include improving facilities for young people, encouraging community cohesion, promoting physical activities, making Bolton a better place for young people, the importance of tackling bullying, promoting activities for disabled young people and supporting the youth to overcome government cuts.
A DVD highlighting each candidate’s manifesto has been sent to local schools.
Ciara Steele, Young People’s Participation Officer, said: “Elected Youth MPs will learn about the needs, interests and concerns of young people on both a local and national level.
“They will lobby parliament as part of the national UK Youth Parliament group and sit on various meeting within Bolton Council.”
Young people across Bolton are being encouraged to vote for the next round of Youth MPs by the outgoing Youth MP Lydia Wolstenholme, aged 13, from Thornleigh Salesian College.
She said: “If you have something to complain about, then vote and make a change.
“Youth MPs give young people a voice. I wanted to improve things for young people with disabilities and make them more aware of the opportunities they had, I think I did through helping to organise an event.
“Youth MPs are approached by young people and we do listen.”
Votes can be placed either at school ballot boxes or by visiting bolton.gov.uk/youthmp where there is video footage of each candidate’s speech.