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Slough has highest turnout in UK Youth Parliament ballot

The UK’s largest youth consultation just got bigger after Slough achieved the highest voter turnout in the UK Youth Parliament’s Make Your Mark ballot.

The campaign asks young people aged 11 to 18 across the country to choose the top five issues that matter the most to them.

The council said Slough achieved an 80 per cent turnout as 9,368 young people chose from 10 issues affecting their lives, including lowering the voting age to 16 and affordable public transport.

The results were announced on Tuesday.

Slough had the second highest turnout in last year’s campaign with a 67 per cent, compared to 48.5 per cent in 2015.

Sixteen secondary schools took part in the ballot, as well as youth groups from the YES Consortium and the Slough Borough Council Young People’s Service.

Slough’s most chosen issues were work experience hubs for 11 to 18-year-olds, cheaper public transport, a curriculum to prepare students for life, protecting school budgets from cuts and votes at 16.

Cllr Madhuri Bedi, Slough Borough Council’s cabinet member for children, education and families, said: “The positive response from local young people shows how enthusiastic and engaged they are about the issues that really matter to them.

“The ballot is a real local youth engagement success story.

“I couldn’t be more proud or inspired by the passion and commitment demonstrated by the young people of Slough. I congratulate them on this exceptional achievement.”

Slough Youth Parliament will raise the results with councillors, Slough MP Tan Dhesi, the Slough Association of Secondary Heads, the Wellbeing Board and others.

The national result will be debated by the UK Youth Parliament during its House of Commons sitting on Friday, November 10, chaired by the Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow MP and broadcast live on BBC Parliament.

Slough will be represented by 16-year-old Alaa Fawaz.

Slough Youth Parliament is supported by Slough Borough Council’s Young People’s Service. Email sloughforyouth@slough.gov.uk for details.

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