A new partnership has been formed to raise awareness of and promote young people’s rights across the local area.
Will Bridges is the current Member of the Youth Parliament for the constituency and a former pupil at Writhlington School in Radstock. In the second half of a two-year term, he is keen to raise awareness of the problems young people face when accessing rural public transport. He also wants to ensure that every home in the area has access to superfast broadband.
Will commented: “Young people are interested in a variety of issues, not just those typically associated with them such as the lowering of the voting age and subsidised public transport.
“Whether it’s the environment, Europe or gay rights, you’ll often find that teenagers and young adults are just as opinionated about these as their older counterparts.”
Will was elected to the post almost a year ago, and has spent a lot of time speaking on behalf of his peers with organisations such as Bath and North East Somerset Council. His first year included a trip to the House of Commons, visiting constituents in their homes, attending meetings at the Guildhall and volunteering at events such the Jubilee Party in the Park in Peasedown St John.
He also spent a week with B&NES councillor Nathan Hartley to find out more about what local government entails. He added: “Nathan knows a lot about community politics. His knowledge and experience taught me how to campaign and raise awareness of a particular cause.”
And now, thanks to a new partnership between Will and Nathan, young people’s issues are to be hot on the agenda in 2013.
The duo will now meet on a regular basis to scrutinise council policy, assess issues affecting young people, and ensure they are consulted by politicians on issues directly concerning them.
Cllr Nathan Hartley (Peasedown St John) added: “Too often, the thoughts and views of young people are considered as an after-thought. So many of the decisions made by councillors and MPs affect services used by younger members of our community, but they are seldom asked what they think.
“I’m looking forward to working with Will this year. He is a bright young man and will go far in the world of politics.”
Any young person living in North East Somerset who’d like to contact Will can do so by emailing [email protected]
Will is particularly keen to hear views about rural transport and the availability of broadband.