Young people across North Lanarkshire have the chance to make their voice heard by voting in the Scottish Youth Parliament elections which began on Monday.
A total of 25 young people across North Lanarkshire are campaigning to become one of the nine elected MSYPs representing the five North Lanarkshire constituencies, including Motherwell and Wishaw and Uddingston and Bellshill.
This week we are giving the candidates in the two local constituencies the chance to outline their message to voters.
Uddingston & Bellshill
I am 16 years of age from Bellshill. I attend Bellshill Academy and enjoy playing and listening to music.
I enjoy debating and have had experience of debating at the Scottish Parliament and at Scullion Law.
I have a natural ability to stand up for those who feel unable to stand up for themselves. I always take into account both sides of a story and make sure all views are represented and respected.
I am loyal and determined and when I start a project I will always see it through to its conclusion.
I would enjoy the challenge of representing the young people of this area and if you vote for me I will work hard on your behalf.
I stand up for those not able to stand up for themselves. I am loyal and determined and always see things through. I will represent your views.
I will campaign tirelessly to ensure that young people in this area have more things to do. This includes ensuring young people have access to football pitches, sports facilities and spaces to hang out.
Improving the quality of PSHE is an issue I really care about and if elected I will use my role to work with North Lanarkshire Council and schools using the action points in the youth strategy to demand change for my constituents.
The Scottish Youth Parliament have selected “Tackling Child Poverty” as our campaign. This is the perfect opportunity for me as your MSYP to tackle this issue that you care about!
Listening to your views on policing and taking action is a huge issue for young people and if elected I want to take action on this on your behalf. I will talk to you to find out what your views are on policing and use this information to tackle any issues.
Motherwell & Wishaw
I am a fourth year pupil at Braidhurst High School.
If elected, I will mainly be focusing on alcohol and drugs misuse amongst the young people. I will try to do this by making young people aware of the dangers at an earlier age and creating a safe place for them to have a good night out.
I would like to support more youth clubs and activities available to the youth of Motherwell and Wishaw.
I intend to ensure that our voice, Scotland’s youth, is acknowledged and acted upon; we deserve the ability to make a difference both locally and nationally.
If elected I will campaign for the voting age to be permanently lowered to 16 years of age, the introduction of a real living wage and zero hour contracts to be disbanded.
I am 14 years old and I live in Motherwell.
I am standing to reduce under-age drinking, tackle bullying - no individual deserves to be physically or mentally harmed - and reduce the number of young people taking drugs.
I’m 16. I will make a good MSYP because I care about the views of young people and I guarantee that your views will be heard.
If I’m elected, I pledge to tackle the following - young school leavers, lack of access to leisure facilities, increase EMA payments.
I go to Our Lady’s High School, Motherwell. I am 16 years old and wish to contribute to the changes happening around us.
Here are the policies I will be campaigning for if elected - vote for 16-year-olds, minimum wage raised to living wage, more youth facilities for the Motherwell-Wishaw area.
I would make a great candidate as I can represent young people’s voices and I’m passionate about change.
My manifesto is - votes at 16, more school education about LGBTA+, gender and identity, more jobs/work experience opportunities for young people at school.
I attend Our Lady’s High School in Motherwell. If elected I will campaign on these issues -
All SQA how to pass books are given to all pupils.
There is an increase in all Motherwell and Wishaw schools budgets, further improving your learning and future opportunities.
Ensure new sport programmes are introduced, improving the fitness of young people.
Offer 14-year-olds who are disillusioned with learning apprenticeships straight out of schools.
I’m 16 and if you elect me the main issues I want to focus on are school resources and supply teachers, youth boredom, voting age, wages and the cost of living and youth unemployment.
I promise my full commitment and will do everything I can to make these changes. I want a better community and I want you to guide me towards the issues you believe in.
Together we can make a big difference.
If elected I will campaign on these issues -
Transport: Aims - to lower cost and increase services. Methods - hold surgeries with transport councillors.
Gym memberships: Aims - reduce cost. Methods - working with NL Leisure to do so.
Life Skills (budgeting, taxes, etc): Aim: integrate lessons within school and community. Methods - working with the council.
If elected I pledge to -
Make sure the opinions of young people are heard.
Help get more young people involved in politics and in their local communities.
Help young people find apprenticeships, employment and training opportunities.
Campaign, petition and protest for any issues young people feel strongly for.
Solve or find suitable solutions to any problems young people may have.
Organise events so that young people know what’s going on and what is available to them.
If elected I would campaign for -
Working together, volunteering and donating to the food banks in Motherwell and Wishaw to work to make them open 24/7 instead of 9-11pm or 1-3pm.
Enable more information to be given to people in schools about food banks as many people don’t even know that these food banks exist.
The Scottish Youth Parliament campaigns on the issues that matter most to Scotland’s young people, and MSYPs are drivers of positive change.
Through her role as an MSYP for Motherwell and Wishaw, Lauren King led the 2014 national campaign Care.Fair.Share. which sought to alleviate the financial pressures facing young carers.
Speaking about her experience as an MSYP, Lauren said: “Being an MSYP has given me the opportunity to campaign on so many issues that matter to young people.
“As a young carer myself, our national campaign, Care.Fair.Share., was particularly close to my heart.
“I want to encourage everyone standing in the elections to make the most of this fantastic opportunity. Being an MSYP will change your life and, most importantly, it will give you the chance to change the lives of others too.
“I’ve been at the heart of campaigns which have helped to shape historic changes in our society.
“I am so proud of all that I have been a part of as an MSYP, and I want to wish the very best of luck to those standing as candidates.”
Any young person aged 12-25 years attending secondary school or college, working and/or living in North Lanarkshire can vote in the elections using their NEC Young Scot Card.
If a young person does not have a card or number to vote they should contact 01236 812586 and a temporary number will be issued to enable them to vote in the elections.
School pupils can vote during the school day if they wish, but anyone can vote anytime by visiting www.elections.youngscot.org up to 5pm on Thursday, March 12.
The results night will take place at Coltness High School on March 12. The returning officer will be Gavin Whitefield, chief executive of North Lanarkshire Council.
For more information please contact June Ford, development officer, on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01236 812637.