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Children and young people's voice

Vote in the UK Youth Parliament elections

Wiltshire has three seats on UKYP and candidates stand for election in the area where they attend school. The seats are:

Wiltshire EastWiltshire NorthWiltshire West
AmesburyCalneBradford on Avon
MarlboroughChippenhamMelksham
PewseyCorshamSouth West Wiltshire
TidworthDevizesTrowbridge
SalisburyMalmesburyWarminster
Southern WiltshireRoyal Wootton Bassett and CrickladeWestbury

See the map in the downloads section (right).

Voting will open on 29 January 2018 and will end on 11 February 2018. To vote, text the first name of the candidate you are voting for to 07984 357 705.

Any texts sent outside of the election period will not be counted. Texts are charged at standard UK mobile rate. Duplicate votes will not be counted.

Wiltshire East candidates

I go to The Wellington Academy.

If I am elected to Youth Parliament I will be campaigning on the following important issues:

  • Drugs. The awareness of how detrimental drugs are to not only the user, but the people around the user, is worryingly below par. Areas such as Ludgershall and Tidworth have issues with drugs that I plan to tackle.
  • Relations between communities. It is quite clear after only a few months here that Pewsey is very different to Marlborough, but that does not exclude the lack of integration even between kids in school sticking to their friends in their neighbourhoods.

I consider these to be important issues because of my origin. Having just started boarding at Wellington Academy, coming from places like London and Manchester really contrasted to a more suburban Wiltshire. The lack of diversity and heavy military background really intrigues me, but the drugs and crime are something I've found everywhere that needs rectifying.

If I am elected to Youth Parliament, I promise not to make any promises I cannot keep. The incredibly insufficient public transport is also regarded quite highly on my agenda, and raising the expectations that the older generations have on our youth is very near to my heart. This is what I promise.

Watch Joel's manifesto video

To vote for Joel, text 'Joel' to 07984 357 705

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My name is Kitty Fox

I live in Wilton and go to South Wilts Grammar school.

If I am elected to Youth Parliament I will be campaigning on these important issues. 

  • Climate change. Young people need to be educated on causes and effects. At the moment, it's mostly studied in geography (optional GCSE subject).
  • Having an education that prepares us for life, i.e. money handling, taxes, insurance. Young people need to go into life prepared.
  • Free university for all as many young people go into debt.

I consider these to be important issues because not knowing about climate change leaves young people oblivious to the state of the world around them. When young people grow up, they will ignore climate change and not take action on the issue. If school doesn't prepare us for life, we will be in the dark about our future. Paying for university means people will be in debt. These things matter to me as I am a young person. 

If I am elected to Youth Parliament, I promise that I will take this seriously and be reliable in my commitments. I will also take other people's opinions into account. I also promise to represent young people and listen to the majority, as well as putting forward my own points.

Watch Kitty's manifesto video

To vote for Kitty, text 'Kitty' to 07984 357 705

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My name is Rebecca Richards.

I live in Salisbury, and go to South Wilts Grammar School for Girls.

If I am elected to Youth Parliament I will be campaigning on these important issues:

  • Better transport, with cheaper fares for young people 
  • Increasing early access to mental health services, and promoting wellbeing within schools
  • Reducing bullying and discrimination

I consider these to be important issues because:

  • Many young people need to use public transport every day to get to school, work, or training, meaning that costs can stack up rapidly.
  • Mental health affects 1 in 4 people worldwide and, for many people, can snowball. I believe early access to services would help reduce that. 
  • Bullying and discrimination are also both fairly widespread, with a particular increase in Islamophobia in recent years.

If I am elected to Youth Parliament, I promise to be fully engaged in discussions and debates in meetings, listen to young people, bring back any advice they have on certain issues, and make my voice heard within meetings.

Watch Rebecca's manifesto video

To vote for Rebecca, text 'Rebecca' to 07984 357 705

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My name is Miranda Roberts. 

I live in Fovant and go to St. Edmund's Girls' School.

If I am elected to Youth Parliament I will be campaigning on these important issues.

  • Voting age. During the Brexit referendum, a popular conversation topic at school was how the voting age should be lowered as we are all really passionate about our opinions and we felt annoyed that we couldn't vote. 
  • Bullying. Raise awareness and support those involved in bullying. I believe that we should support those affected by it now, in order to prevent it from happening in the workplace in the future. 
  • Mental health. Teach others how to support young people with a mental health issue. Sometimes people don't feel comfortable talking to an adult so they prefer to talk to friends but they don't know how to help.

I consider these to be important issues because:

  • I believe that young people from all backgrounds have an informed opinion and they should be able to decide their own future. 
  • I was bullied when I was younger and I received little support but I learnt that the perpetrator was going through a rough time at home and they received little support also.
  • I suffer from a mental health problem and I find it awkward to talk to adults. Friends with autism and Asperger's Syndrome also agree with me. 

If I am elected to Youth Parliament, I promise to update schools and colleges regularly on what's happening, hold regular votes on current issues, bring forward their opinions on issues, and talk with students regularly through the use of social media.

Watch Miranda's manifesto video

To vote for Miranda, text 'Miranda' to 07984 357 705

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Wiltshire North candidates

My name is Nicholas Whyatt.

I live in West Swindon and I go to Royal Wootton Bassett Academy.

If I am elected to Youth Parliament I will be campaigning on these important issues:

  • Push for a large burst of investment into renewable energy and mitigation of carbon production from fossil fuels, the former to lesson our dependence on ever more expensive non-renewable resources and imported energy, and the latter to try and curb the damage caused by our inevitable continuation of some fossil fuel usage.
  • Continue to campaign for votes at 16. Many very well thought out arguments have been put towards this, however my envisioning of an energy-independent UK requires the youth to decide and vote towards our future if we are to help save our planet and lead in accordance with the Paris climate accord while still maintaining an economic advantage, I believe the youth need to get involved in the decisions that will govern their lives. 

I consider these to be important issues because, in time, our generation will occupy and control these major seats of power and will have to make difficult decisions about our future too, just as we do now. However, if we fail to act now, those decisions will become ever harder and ever more difficult, all the while the youth will find themselves struggling without a voice. 

If I am elected to Youth Parliament, I promise to work diligently towards the goals that I believe in and to fight on the issues that concern our youth with upright zeal. I will proudly represent the people who choose me to be the recipient of their vote and I will listen to their views and opinions with respect, in order to do my duty to the community that elected me.

Watch Nicholas's manifesto video

To vote for Nicholas, text 'Nicholas' to 07984 357 705

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My name is Declan Kiely.

I live in Chippenham and go to Hardenhuish School.

If I am elected to Youth Parliament I will be campaigning on these important issues:

  • To win the right to vote at sixteen
  • To fight for an increase in education funding, and a reduction in the cost of higher education 

I consider these to be important issues because people at the age of sixteen are affected by government decisions, and understand their impact. The fact that they are campaigning in the first place proves that they are politically aware enough.

If I am elected to Youth Parliament, I promise to work with all those concerned to bring attention to and act upon issues affecting young people.

Watch Declan's manifesto video

To vote for Declan, text 'Declan' to 07984 357 705

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My name is Lorna McDermid.

I live in Malmesbury and go to Stonar School.

If I am elected to Youth Parliament I will be campaigning on these important issues. 

  • Mental health support for young people
  • Improving lives for children in care 

I consider these to be important issues because they affect so many people and I have lived and still live in care and it needs improving and mental health support is hard to access for many young people.

If I am elected to Youth Parliament, I promise to listen to all young people and to voice their views as best as I can.

Watch Lorna's manifesto video

To vote for Lorna, text 'Lorna' to 07984 357 705

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My name is Karl Eric Smithson 

I live in Marlborough and go to Dauntsey's School.

If I am elected to Youth Parliament I will be campaigning on these important issues. 

  • Reinstating British values being taught in schools. Currently the UK, alongside many other western countries is facing a fast decline in self-worth. As values are no longer taught, many people growing up don't know what it means to be British anymore like our grandparents did. It's sad because many people in less developed countries see being British as some sort of blessing. This is leading to many people not being able to integrate and in extreme cases, join organisations like ISIS. I want to change this!
  • Cutting immigration. Mass immigration has done a lot of damage to many western countries including the UK. Because of this, it has been on the political agenda ever since the 50's, but has been especially rigorously debated in the last 15 years. It has resulted in Brexit, Trump, Le Pen, The AfD, UKIP and much more. However, many people, especially young people, won't know why it is so damaging;  mass immigration typically leads to social unrest, pressure on public services, non-integration and lots more. With many jobs being taken over by robots it will make it even harder for my generation to find work. This is why I'm passionate about this policy.
  • I consider these to be important issues because… when I look at my generation, I'm not impressed. As a society, we have become less polite, less hard working, more ignorant and more unhappy. These issues are important to us because we can all change and these policies are just few examples of how that change can happen. This country is great and as a generation, we must ensure it doesn't stop being great. We must work harder and change our ways in order to do this and take pride in the fact that we're British. We conquered a quarter of the world and have single-handedly changed the entire course of history but we can do a hell of a lot more.

If I am elected to Youth Parliament, I promise to work as hard as I possibly can to make Wiltshire a lot better and make the lives of young people a lot better. I will represent my constituents to my fullest extent and make clear who I am. As a libertarian, I want to remind everyone of their right and try to give the British people even more rights. It is government that works for the people not the other way around. God save the Queen!

Watch Karl's manifesto video

To vote for Karl, text 'Karl' to 07984 357 705

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My name is Emily Frith.

I live in Royal Wootton Bassett and I go to Royal Wootton Bassett Academy.

If I am elected to Youth Parliament I will be campaigning on the important issue of mental health. We as a nation are massively under-educated about such matters.

My aim is for there to be one compulsory lesson per fortnight to teach secondary school students all about mental health disorders. This will include the causes, prevention and how to help somebody who is suffering.

Watch Emily's manifesto video

To vote for Emily, text 'Emily' to 07984 357 705

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My name is Sherwin Kashfi.

I live in Swindon and go to Royal Wootton Bassett Academy.

If I am elected to Youth Parliament I will be campaigning on these important issues. 

  • Unbiased conversations in UK schools and universities
  • More freedom of speech in both schools and society in general

I consider these to be important issues because we need to create better intellectual environments for students.

Watch Sherwin's manifesto video

To vote for Sherwin, text 'Sherwin' to 07984 357 705

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My name is Alex Roberts. 

I live in Crudwell and go to Malmesbury School.

If I am elected to Youth Parliament I will be campaigning on these important issues. 

  • Better representation and respect for young people. I believe we need to encourage greater youth involvement in society. Everyone has their opinions on the issues that affect them, so we should be encouraged to make an impact.
  • Greater mental health support and awareness so everyone can recognise and stop mental health issues as soon as they start. One side of mental health which is infrequently looked at is mental health of people who have physical disabilities, so this will be a key issue for me. 
  • I believe we need to ensure that every young person has free access to quality education for life. That includes making sure that no young person faces unnecessary transport costs, and setting school funding to a level that is fair for all.

I consider these to be important issues because I believe that they represent the change that young people want to see. In our rural area, many issues are not seen as being as important as issues in large cities. That is why I am campaigning for more youth involvement in society and better school transport, for example, as they need to be looked at in our area more closely.

If I am elected to Youth Parliament, I promise to listen to the view and perspectives of every young person in the area, encouraging them to feel they can have an impact on the world. I will work with the local council and MP's to enact change on a local and national level. Also, I promise to uphold my manifesto pledges and if I do not, I recognise I will be breaking your trust.

Watch Alex's manifesto video

To vote for Alex, text 'Alex' to 07984 357 705

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Wiltshire West candidates

My name is Charlie Sweetman.

I live in Trowbridge and to go The John of Gaunt School.

If I am elected to Youth Parliament I will be campaigning on these important issues:

  • The abolition of fees for university and other forms of further education because it can put financial strain on a family and they can discourage people from poorer backgrounds to apply to such programmes.
  • Lowering the voting age to the 16, as the political decisions being made today will greatly impact our future and therefore we should be able to have a say in it.
  • Greater awareness and more support for the current issues children face today. These issues include racial, cultural and other types of discrimination, bullying, mental health issues and the lack of internet safety. This campaign could take the form of anti-bullying awareness days, education on different cultures or talks on how to stay safe online.

I consider these issues to be important because:

  • I believe that education is a right and all people should have the opportunity to study, no matter their household income. I believe that we should all have a say on what happens in our community as it will potentially affect our lives longer than those of voting age and older. 
  • I believe that all children should be able to enjoy their childhood and not have to experience these issues.

If I am elected to Youth Parliament, I promise to represent my constituents of West Wiltshire by listening to them and voicing their concerns.

Watch Charlie's manifesto video

To vote for Charlie, text 'Charlie' to 07984 357 705

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My name is Basma Naji.

I live in Trowbridge and go to The John of Gaunt School.

If I am elected to Youth Parliament I will be campaigning on these important issues. 

  • For 16-year olds to get the same amount of money for work like a average adult.
  • Obesity within the UK.

Why I think this is important.

  • I know I'm only an 11-year-old but don't you think 16-year-olds should get the same amount of money as adults? Where is the difference beside the fact they're only younger - they work the same hours and same times - what's the difference?
  • I think this subject is important as there are lots of obese kids and adults suffering from this. I personally think we should help these people by lowering how much unhealthy food we sell as a country e.g. sweets and too much chocolate.                                                                

If I am elected to Youth Parliament, I'll be there to support and achieve my goals in the future. I'll also support my partner (if I have one) with his/hers decisions.

Watch Basma's manifesto video

To vote for Basma, text 'Basma' to 07984 357 705

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My name is Amber Longmore.

I live in Trowbridge and go to St Laurence School.

If I am elected to Youth Parliament I will be campaigning on these important issues. 

  • Children in care/adopted children and their right to have a say in their life. They deserve the same education and opportunities as everyone else, and should not to be judged by their background.
  • NHS cuts are causing young people (self-harming) to suffer in silence. This isn't fair on these young people because they have a problem and need to talk to someone or else they will end up just giving up on their life. Because staff aren't being paid enough and are quitting, meaning there are no specialists for the young people suffering.

I consider these to be important issues because behind these issues young people are at risk and if they are not agreed innocent people will suffer their whole life because of something we didn't solve.  

If I am elected to Youth Parliament, I promise to listen to your views on the issue and take them into consideration when in Parliament. I will also think about your ideas and understand them. So, I believe that we can work on your ideas.

Watch Amber's manifesto video

To vote for Amber, text 'Amber' to 07984 357 705

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My name is Maisy Humphrey.

I live in Trowbridge and go to St Laurence School.

If I am elected to Youth Parliament I will be campaigning on these important issues:

  • Climate change. I'll promote the use of public transport amongst young people. I will campaign for young people to aim to use public transport as much as possible by promoting bus and train timetables within schools, as well as the use of the various apps that you can use to make these journeys easier. Recycling in schools, at home and in public spaces. I'll spread awareness of the importance of recycling at home, to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. Unfortunately, although most schools have recycling bins now, it has become a problem that due to misuse, they are being emptied into landfill along with the other waste instead of being recycled. I will combat this by raising awareness of the advantages of recycling and how to recycle effectively.
  • Special needs facilities in Wiltshire. I volunteer with the children at Larkrise School in Trowbridge. However, funding is being cut and special needs schools across the county are being closed. In our area, there are no more places in schools for special needs children as the classes are as full as they can possibly be. Larkrise School, along with other special schools, are currently oversubscribed and children are having to wait until November to start school. I will help these schools by publicizing this problem, encouraging young people to volunteer with special needs children, and holding fundraisers to help with the costs of running the school.

Watch Maisy's manifesto video

To vote for Maisy, text 'Maisy' to 07984 357 705

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The Children in Care Council (CiCC)

The Children in Care Council is made up of children and young people age 12-19 (Care Ambassadors) and 19-25 (Care Leaver Ambassadors). The council meets to tell decision makers what the issues are for children in care and care leavers. The young people meet with senior managers and elected members, who are responsible for making important decisions about the lives of children in care in Wiltshire.


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We want to make sure that children and young people’s voices are heard and actions are taken about the decisions that affect their lives.

“It’s about making a change and hearing from the children and young people who are in Wiltshire’s care,” Children in Care Council member, February 2016.


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The Children in Care Council:

  • Tells people who make decisions about services for children in care what can be done to make things better.
  • Speaks for all children and young people in care by gathering their views and deciding how best to share these views with senior managers and corporate parents.
  • Receives feedback from senior managers and corporate parents on issues identified by children in care.
  • Tells children in care what has happened as a result of them sharing their views and ideas.
  • Involves children in care to check and monitor all services for children in care – for example, commenting on leaflets, documents, policies and strategies, and helping to design child and young person friendly versions of documents.
  • Works on projects to help get young people's voices heard – for example, planning and running training for professionals.
  • Keeps children in care updated on anything it has found our through meetings, or topics presented by guests and visitors.

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Children and young people's voice and influence in Wiltshire

Wiltshire Council believes in co-designing and delivering services for children and young people, with children and young people. Such participation and involvement is coordinated by the Council’s Voice and Influence Team.

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The team works to ensure the views of children and young people are heard and acted upon by decision-makers. It does this in partnership with schools, colleges, and voluntary sector organisations such as Healthwatch, as well as colleagues in commissioning, early help teams and across children’s services.

The team also manages the Children in Care Council (CiCC) and the Wiltshire Assembly of Youth (WAY). These groups meet monthly and welcome consultations and visitors. CiCC represents the views of Wiltshire’s looked after and care leaving populations. WAY members are either elected by peers, or are co-opted to represent particular groups, including those with special educational needs and/or disability, and those who are lesbian, gay and transgender. Both groups sit on committees, working groups and boards, including the Wiltshire Safeguarding Children’s Board, Corporate Parenting Panel and the Children’s Select Committee, amongst others. Children and young people are supported to sit on interview panels for children’s services staff, consider tender evaluations for children’s services and offer feedback on Council documents and policies.


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Young people’s participation in co-production activities must have value to all parties; young people must be offered the opportunity to input directly into all processes and demonstrate their skills, ask questions and offer constructive feedback. Young people with additional needs will be supported to engage as and when appropriate.

When committees, boards, and external organisation are requesting the participation of young people at meetings, events and training, all relevant information must be available in advance, with a clear description of the reason for the request. The Voice and Influence Team coordinates such activity and prepares young people as necessary.

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The Voice and Influence Team will be able to advise should you wish to seek the views of children and young people in Wiltshire. Guidance is available to ensure that enough time is given to establish intended outcomes, identify cohorts of young people, and prepare them for the work. Wiltshire Council and external partners requesting young people’s input should set aside sufficient resources to enable that participation. These may include funding for transportation (including an accompanying adult if necessary), cost of meals (in line with legislation regarding young people in the work place), and loss of earnings (where a young person misses work as a result of providing the service).

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Children and young people are not paid for their involvement in activities related to co-production but they can expect to be treated fairly and not be out of pocket for their activities.

  • Travel expenses will be refunded when travelling by public transport
  • Appropriate refreshments will be provided according to time of day and length of meeting
  • Achievements are celebrated appropriately
  • An annual social event is organised as a thank you
  • Certificates and letters of thanks are issued
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By being involved in any co-production work, children and young people will see action and change take place, or be informed of the reasons why change does not or cannot take place. They will be able to explain how their views influenced decisions that were made, and be seen at all stages of decision making and commissioning in Wiltshire.

Every six months, a You Said, We did document is produced by the Voice and Influence Team, which explains when and how children and young people have been involved and what the outcome has been. This is circulated to those involved in the work, as well as key officers within the council.

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For more information, please contact voiceandinfluenceteam@wiltshire.gov.uk.

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Wiltshire Members of Youth Parliament

  • West: Kirstie Stage 
  • East: Cecilia George 
  • North: Matthew Jamieson 

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Last updated: 19 December 2017 | Last reviewed: 19 December 2017