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Highland MSYPs vote on new manifesto for the Scottish Youth Parliament

Issued: 6 Jul 2010

Seven young Highland representatives for the Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP) attended their Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Livingston on 26- 27 June to decide on their manifesto. They whittled down 104 statements to just 50 on topics affecting young people for SYP to aim for, including Health, Education, Environment and Equality.

Representing Ross, Skye and Inverness-West, 18 year old member of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYP) Siobhan McCulloch said: "I thought this sitting was very informative and engaging as we were all involved in developing the new SYP manifesto which will be brought forward to the Scottish Parliament."

Elections were also held for the organisation's Vice Chair and Board of Trustees. Derek Couper from Livingston ran unopposed and so continues as Chair for a 2nd year.

Sixteen year old Rowena Carlton, representing Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber, along with Amy Riley from Nairn, said: "The conference was great - I made so many friends and am excited about the next year as SYP establishes its new manifesto which we can now work towards."

Amy said: "SYP was a great experience and it allows Highland issues to be discussed at a National level."

Paige Shepherd, (aged 16) representing Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross said: "This sitting really opened my eyes to the various issues facing young people across Scotland. It was good to hear and speak with other youths who are really trying to make a difference for Scotland's young people."

For 18 year old Esther Richards it was her last sitting, she commented: "I felt this was the best SYP sitting I have been a part of. I am sad to leave this organisation and have learnt a lot throughout my time here."

Joining the Highland group as a visitor was 16 year old Gemma Mackintosh, who was previously an MSYP representing Haggeye (a youth forum based in Scotland which involves represents young people with visual impairments aged 12 to 25). Gemma said: "The SYP gave me an insight into some of the work the Highland representatives have been involved in."

MSYP Rory Forbes from Dingwall also attended the event for one day.

The next Scottish Youth Parliament sitting will be held in the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood in October, where MSPs will be in attendance to listen to the views of young people.

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