Vote for your youth parliament representative

The candidates for the youth parliament elections
The candidates for the youth parliament elections

South Ayrshire candidates in the Scottish Youth Parliament elections are calling on their peers to stand up and be counted and use their vote in the Scottish Youth Parliament elections.

The Scottish Youth Parliament represents Scotland’s young people aged up to 25 years and aims to ensure young people’s voices are heard on the issues that matter and to involve them in democratic decision-making processes.

Nine young people are standing in South Ayrshire to represent their peers in the two South Ayrshire constituencies – Ayr (with two Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs)) and Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley (with one South Ayrshire MSYP as the constituency is shared with East Ayrshire).

South Ayrshire Provost Helen Moonie said: “The candidates in the Scottish Youth Parliament elections are approaching their campaigns with great enthusiasm and enjoying the experience.

“I would encourage all young people from 12 to 25 years to go online when the elections go live and influence who represents you in the Scottish Youth Parliament.”

From 2 March to 12 March 2015 young people can vote all they need is their Young Scot card and to go online at www.syp.org.uk/elections at school, college or from the comfort of their own home, whatever suits them.

If you need a Young Scot number to vote go to youngscot@south-ayrshire.gov.uk or call 01292 612788.

In the Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley Constituency the candidates are: Owain Bevan, aged 16; Lewis Gray, aged 16 ; Kate Fleming, aged 18; Codie Hodge, aged 15; Brody Wright, aged 15.

The results of the election will be announced on Friday 13 March 2015.

To find out more about the candidates and their manifestos, and for details of how to vote, visit www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/syp or call 01292 616421.

The SYP is a youth-led organisation and all Trustees are aged under 25. SYP’s vision is of a stronger, more inclusive Scotland that empowers young people by truly involving them in decision making processes.

Being an MSYP involves: consulting with young people in the area to find out their views and opinions on the subjects important to them; taking part in the local youth forum, training and other events representing your constituents; representing peers at SYP National Sittings several times a year, all over Scotland, taking part in discussions and debates; playing an active role in SYP campaigns work, fighting to improve things for Scotland’s young people

Kate Fleming

My main aims are to raise awareness and increase education about mental health so that no young person ever has to struggle through mental illness alone and helping schools provide more individual help, particularly during exam time.

I want to help provide a wider variety of sports in South Ayrshire, based on what you want.

I want to help schools improve PSE lessons based on what pupils want to learn and I want to make sure that all young people should have easy access to information about what’s going on for them in the local area.

Brody Wright

I am Brody Wright in my fourth year at Queen Margaret Academy. I am proud of my Scottish heritage. I am an ordinary guy who is interested in making Scotland the best place for young people to live.

I believe that our opinions and ideas are as important as any others. We are equal citizens who should be involved in making decisions which affect our lives. We have the right to have our ideas put across and to be taken just as seriously as anyone else.

I would work really hard to get your ideas and the issues that matter most to you across.

Lewis Gray

I’ll be standing to represent Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley in the 2015 Scottish Youth Parliament elections. I will campaign to:

• Create a back up fund for youth groups. This will make sure the groups can survive if they don’t receive funding

• Help Young Carer centres get more funding

• End the stigma surrounding mental health in young people

All of these I hope will create a better Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley for young people to live in.

Owain Bevan

I believe I would be a good MSYP for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley because I provide a new voice for the parliament and I am committed to making the time to create positive change for Young people in Scotland.

I have some experience in working with local councillors and MSPs and I feel confident and comfortable working in this environment. As an MSYP I would try to:

• Introduce a homework cap which would prevent homework levels from becoming excessive.

• Implement methods that would encourage employers to employ 14-18 year olds.

• Create a student’s union for secondary school pupils which would act as a voice for pupils in schools.

· Provide help to pupils who would like to stay on in secondary school but have family members to care for.

Codie Hodge

I intend to represent young people by being their voice. I aim to listen and do my best to try and make positive changes to benefit young people.

• I believe extra help should be given to young people with mental health issues (depression, self harm, etc) in schools and in their community.

• I believe that at least one senior pupil, or even a member of the SYP, should be present at an Education Committee meeting.

• Classes should be given in academies to educate pupils on how to handle finances and bills for the future.