Havering elects two new Members of Youth Parliament

Newly elected Youth Parliament Members for 2024
Newly elected Members of Youth Parliament for Havering Philia Lekaj (left) and Elsie Orwell (right) are pictured with the Mayor Councillor Stephanie Nunn and Councillor Barry Nunn, Cabinet Member for Environment
Published: Wednesday, 6 March 2024

Two young people have been voted in as representatives in the UK Youth Parliament.

Elsie Orwell and Philia Lekaj are the new Members of Youth Parliament for Havering.

The results were announced by the Mayor of Havering, Councillor Stephanie Nunn at Havering Town Hall, Romford.

It followed a three-week voting period, which saw young people, aged 11-18 (up to 25 years for young people with additional needs) from across the borough, voting on a series of manifestoes and pledges made by the candidates.

A total of 6,800 votes were cast and more than 50 percent of secondary schools took part as well as young people who attend venues such as MyPlace youth centre, the Youth Justice Service, Youth Council and Children in Care Council.

The candidates had campaigned on issues such as:

  •   preparation for adult life
  •   tackling crime 
  •   improving the voices of young people 
  •   mental health 
  •   the importance of school and education

Outgoing Members Uno Borlasa and Curtis Tobbs joined The Mayor at the ceremony to announce the winning candidates. 

The Mayor thanked the outgoing members for their service on both a national and local level over the past two years and for putting Havering on the map.

She said all the candidates should be proud of themselves.

The UK Youth Parliament provides opportunities for young people to use their voice to bring about social change. 

They organise events and projects, run campaigns and influence decision-makers on the issues that matter most to young people in Havering.

Newly elected member, Philia, pledged to campaign on accessibility to education, mental health awareness and sexual harassment

She said: “I am excited and over the moon. I have always been interested in activism, especially activism for young people.” 

Elsie pledged to reduce crime rates amongst youth, to campaign for equal opportunities within the education system and to work towards a curriculum for life.

She said: “I am feeling very happy and proud of myself. It is something I have always wanted to do.”

Councillor Oscar Ford, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said:

“My congratulations go out to the new Members of Youth Parliament who will represent the borough and give young people a chance for their voices to be heard nationally.

“They are in the unique position of being able to take up the issues which we know affect other young people and to know that their voices will be heard.

“My thanks go out to all the young people who stood, as well as those who took part in voting.”