Sefton Member of the Youth Parliament gets backing of Labour MP Bill Esterson in Make Your Mark campaign which aims to empower young people in politics

Sefton MYP Laura Curran has gained the backing of Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson for the Make Your Mark campaign.

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson met with one of Sefton's two Members of the Youth Parliament this week to hear about a campaign to empower young people to tackle the issues that affect them the most.

Maricourt High pupil, Laura Curran is serving her second term as an MYP after being re-elected last year.
 
The 16-year-old is leading the Make Your Mark campaign in Sefton alongside fellow Sefton MYP Ryan Everett.
 
Laura told Bill Esterson why the campaign is so important: "The Make Your Mark campaign is the largest UK consultation. It allows 11-18 year olds the chance to vote on issues that matter to them. The top five issues will be discussed in the House of Commons when the Youth Parliament sits.
 
"We are trying to target one-million young people to take part. around the country.
 
"Young people don't always feel like they have a say on what matters to them. Make Your Mark is one of the few opportunities for young people to have a say and get their issues raised and possibly tackled.
 
"After the issues are debated in parliament, they then become campaigns in their own right as part of a national day of action.
 
"We will take the campaigns to our MPs and councillors to get support so we can try and achieve the change that young people want to see.
 
"And that is the biggest thing we are trying to achieve - real change.
 
"Young people are already getting involved in Make Your Mark and we need to make positive change for them."
 
 
The 10 topics on the ballot are:
 
Votes at 16. Give 16 and 17 year olds the right to vote in elections and referendums.
Fund our youth services, don’t cut them.
A curriculum to prepare us for life. Schools should cover topics like finance, sex and relationship education, and politics.
Mental health services should be improved.
Work Experience. Young people should have the chance to do at least a week’s placement, at a place of their choosing.
Bring back exam resits in Maths and English in English schools, and help young people achieve their potential.
Young people should be directly involved in making laws. An elected group of young people should have to approve government ideas and policies before they become law.
Everyone should be paid at least the Living Wage of £7.65 per hour (£8.80 in London). Anyone who works, regardless of age, should have a decent standard of living.
Give young people a voice in improving their communities. Councils and politicians should run activities to help young people have a say, including through youth councils, conferences and consultations.
Euthanasia. With the assistance of a doctor and working within strict rules, terminally ill and extremely sick people should have the right to end their own life.
 
 
Bill Esterson said he fully backed the aims and objectives of the campaign.
 
Bill said: "I hear from older people all the time that young people aren't interested in politics, that they are not engaged. But in my experience, particularly here in Sefton Central, that just isn't true.
 
"I find young people to be some of the most politically engaged people I come across. I also find that when I visit our many excellent local schools. The issues that pupils raise with me and the questions that they ask show just how clued up politically they are. And that needs to be encouraged.
 
"The current top 10 topics are certainly controversial and I am sure they will generate some heated debate not just in the chamber when the Youth Parliament sits, but across the country too.
 
"That is exactly what the Make Your Mark Campaign does. It gives young people the chance to have a say and really shape the agenda so that the change that they want to see can be achieved.
 
"I fully support our two excellent Sefton MYPs, Laura and Ryan, and I fully support the Make Your Mark campaign.
 
"I encourage all young people to get involved and I look forward to hearing the issues debated in the House of Commons when the Youth Parliament sits."
 
If you are aged 11-18, you can find out more about the Make Your Mark campaign by going to  http://www.ukyouthparliament.org.uk/makeyourmark/