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Young people urged to stand for youth council election

19 September 2016

Young people across Essex are being encouraged to stand in the upcoming Young Essex Assembly (YEA) election.

The YEA, supported by Essex County Council’s Youth Service, is the youth council for Essex and gives members the opportunity to have an influence on issues affecting young people in the county.

Members mirror the number of county councillors in Essex, with 75 seats available, representing various parts of the county.

Young people wanting to stand in the election must be aged 11 to 19 and either live, work or study in the district they wish to represent.

Applications can be made online at www.young-essex-assembly.org.uk/elections/how-to-stand-for-election and must be submitted by Monday, 17 October 2016.

Voting will take place in November, ahead of declaration events in early December.

The elected YEA members will be in office for a period of two years (February 2017 until January 2019), campaigning for changes they believe will benefit the lives of their peers.

Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “The Young Essex Assembly plays a vital role in democracy in Essex and is an important link between young people and the county’s decision makers.

“My council colleagues and I are always keen to engage with young people, give them a voice and listen to their ideas.

“YEA members will not only have the opportunity to enhance their skills and boost their CVs, but also make a real difference to young lives in Essex.

“I would encourage anyone who is interested in being elected to complete an application form.”

Cllr Stephen Canning, Essex County Council’s youngest councillor and Deputy Cabinet Member for Digital Innovation, said: “I first got in politics by setting up Braintree Youth Council a decade ago, and we have worked closely with the YEA over the last few years to encourage more young people to get involved in, and take an active role in, their local communities.

“It is absolutely vital to give young people this kind of opportunity. Having a voice and the chance to give their thoughts and ideas can really empower young people, and also helps Essex County Council to shape the decisions and policies it makes.”

The existing Young Essex Assembly members have worked on projects covering issues such as mental health, discrimination, sexual health and transport.

To find out more about the YEA, please visit www.young-essex-assembly.org.uk