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New Members of Youth Parliament elected as young residents cast their vote

New and former havering myps with mayor
l--r: Emily Thompson (former MYP), Ronny Whetton MYP, Mayor Cllr Deon Burton, Aliyyah Gbadamosi MYP, Sila Urgulu (former MYP).
Published: Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Two students from Havering have been elected as new Members of the UK Youth Parliament (MYP) for Havering. Results were announced at Romford Town Hall on Tuesday 25 February.

Aliyyah Gbadamosi, 16, from St Edward’s Church of England Academy, and Ronny Whetton, 15, from The Royal Liberty School, were elected to represent the youth of Havering in the UK Youth Parliament. In total, six candidates from various schools across the borough campaigned to become the voice of Havering’s youth. The election received over 6,850 votes. 

The candidates, all aged between 11-18 years, campaigned across 14 secondary schools in Havering, sharing their manifestos and pledges. Priorities included:

  • A curriculum for life
  • votes for 16-and-17-year-olds in the general elections
  • refreshing the way school assemblies are run and have more debates in schools
  • more affordable day trips for children and families
  • tackling litter and protect the environment
  • providing wider career opportunities for young people
  • addressing knife crime.

All six candidates took their campaigns to school assemblies, speaking in front of audiences composed of hundreds of their peers.

The UK Youth Parliament provides opportunities for 11-18-year-olds to use their elected voice to bring about social change through meaningful representation and campaigning. Once elected Members of Youth Parliament organise events and projects, run campaigns and influence decision-makers on the issues that matter most to young people in Havering. 

Members of Youth Parliament meet nationally twice a year at the UK Youth Parliament Annual Sitting and attend UK Youth Parliament House of Commons Sitting. Outgoing Members Emily Thompson and Sila Urgulu joined Councillor Michael Deon Burton, Mayor of Havering, in announcing the winning candidates. 

New Havering Member of Youth Parliament 2020/22, Aliyyah Gbadamosi, said:

“I’m so excited and feel so blessed to have this opportunity. I want to increase opportunities and knowledge for students in Havering, and to help increase awareness of youth facilities to help in the reduction of knife crime. Thank you to everyone who voted for putting your trust in me.”

New Havering Member of Youth Parliament 2020/22, Ronny Whetton, said:

“This has been such a great process, I’ve learnt so much and I’m ecstatic. I want to use my term to focus on my three pledges; the environment, campaigning for a curriculum for life, and push for votes for 16-year-olds so the 1.5 million 16 and 17 years olds in the UK can have a say on their future.”

Councillor Robert Benham, Cabinet Member for Education, Children and Families, said: 

“I am very proud and thankful for all of the candidates who stood in this election. It is brilliant to see so many young people actively engaged in politics and democracy, taking the time to discuss and debate the issues that are important to them and their peers.”

“The world around us is changing so quickly that it is vital we listen to the young voices in our community. I’d like to wish our new Members of Youth Parliament the very best of luck for their future, and thank everyone who took the time to vote in this election.”

Look out for more news on the Havering Youth Parliament in our upcoming Youth Takeover edition of Living in Havering, due in April.