Tuesday 29th June 2010 by C. Freeman
Two students are standing for election in a bid to become one of the 'Young Leaders' in a new County Council initiative. Peter Duke and Rebecca Sims, both from Year 12 at Brooke Weston, are each hoping to be elected for the Corby seat and are now running campaigns to gain as many votes as possible.
The scheme is the first of its kind and the seven elected representatives for Northamptonshire will represent their own area to the County Council. They will also meet with members of the Youth Parliament to improve services at local level with an allocated budget of £25,000.
The election is being co-ordinated by Connexions youth service. Young people who live, work or study in the county are eligible to vote. They have to be aged between 13 and 19, (or 20 to 25 with additional needs) and voting can take place online or using paper ballots.
The results will be announced at a celebration evening at the Guildhall, Northampton on Wednesday 7 July. All young leaders will meet six times a year and will be invited to attend the Children and Young People's Partnership Shadow Board. One will be chosen to represent the whole group at selected meetings of the County Council's full council, scrutiny committees, Children and Young People's Partnership Board and other relevant meetings. They will also be invited to speak at full council.
Peter said: 'I am really interested in politics and think this would be a great step into it. There is a lack of football teams in the local area that I could join so I would want to set up more teams and get money to help set up more sports activities as well for young people. I've lived in different places so I can see from a different perspective the kinds of problems this area has and can bring ideas from other places I have lived to help.'
Rebecca said: 'I have been brought up in a political background as my dad is a local councillor in Corby. Therefore I have a good understanding of how democracy works and how to put my point across. I am very friendly, approachable, focused and determined to represent the youth of today at the highest level to achieve their goals and aspirations. I feel Corby is greatly lacking in facilities and I will campaign tirelessly for a cinema and bowling alley; also drug, alcohol and road safety awareness. I would encourage people to approach me with their issues and concerns, I will do my utmost to support and resolve those problems with my political experience and connections.'