Bolton’s Youth MPs have joined Members of the UK Youth Parliament to debate in the House of Commons.
The town’s young representatives, Asim Iqbal, aged 17, and Lauren Webb, aged 15, joined more than 300 young people from across the country, aged between 11 and 18, to discuss issues including the university fees; job opportunities; the cost and availability of public transport; university fees; sex education and war. A group of 2,500 young people aged 11 to 18 then voted on the issues.
The event follows a UK Youth Parliament debate in the House of Commons last year. It was the first time anyone other than MPs had used the chamber itself.
Earlier this year, MPs voted by a majority of 499 to 21 to allow Members of the Youth Parliament to debate in the Commons chamber annually.
Asim said: “I got the opportunity to speak in the chamber during the transports debate; I spoke to defend the rights for elderly people to get free transport and for young people’s right to reduced transport fares.”
Lauren added: “I enjoyed the whole experience and the opportunity to visit the House of Commons and to sit on the historic green bench.”
Councillor Ebrahim Adia, Executive Member for Children’s Services at Bolton Council, said: “This was a great opportunity for the young people of Bolton to get their voices heard and shape the national campaigns being run by the Youth Parliament in 2011.
“It is very encouraging to see Bolton’s young people taking an interest in the world around them and the political processes that affect it.”
The UK Youth Parliament is now calling for young people across the country to submit views on the debate topics, via the UK Youth Parliament website.