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Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber MSYP Makes History at Scottish Parliament

Issued: 27 Oct 2010

Young people are set to take over the Debating Chamber of the Scottish Parliament this weekend to make history, make policies, and discuss topical issues and

Over 100 Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs) aged 14-25 will be making history as they provide evidence to the Public Petitions Committee in the first committee meeting ever held in the Chamber.

The meeting also represents the first time the Committee has convened in the Parliament's Debating Chamber to receive petitions exclusively from young people.

In March 2010 members of the Scottish Youth Parliament passed two motions identified by individual MSYPs to become SYP policy and be taken forward to Scottish Government as petitions.

The two petition topics being presented:

1. 'Ban Mosquito Devices Now': Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to introduce legislation to ban use of the 'Mosquito' and other such devices which emit a loud, unpleasant, high-pitched noise designed to be heard only by those under 25. Lead Petitioner: West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine MSYP, Andrew Deans, aged 17.

2. 'Political Education For All': Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to ensure that political education is provided to all school pupils and is given prominence within the framework of the new Curriculum for Excellence. Lead Petitioner: Inverness East, Nairn & Lochaber MSYP, Rowena Carlton, aged 17.

MSYP Rowena Carlton, 17 years old, said:

"Compulsory political education is very important for high schools. I don't think 16 & 17 year old know enough about politics as they should. We should get some background into politics if we are to make good, well informed decisions. This issue massively affects young people, and we should be able to have a say in what we are taught."

A third petition by South Ayrshire Youth Forum will be presented. Their petition aims to give a voice to young people in matters concerning changes to leisure and cultural facilities.

Other highlights of the two day programme include:

* MSYPs participating in workshops alongside the Scottish Parliament's Education team and Futures Forum

* Deputy Presiding Officer Alasdair Morgan MSP chairing debating session in the Chamber on Saturday, Debates on: A Big Society & National Citizen Service; Organ Donation- an Opt-Out system; Coal, oil and gas phased out in favor of nuclear power.

* Responses from their latest youth consultation 'Picture the Change' announced

* Speech from Tam Baillie, Scottish Commissioner for Children and Young People

At the same time as the Scottish Youth Parliament's sitting being held in the Scottish Parliaments debating Chamber, the UK Youth Parliament's (UKYP) members will similarly be debating on a variety of contemporary issues in the House of Commons Debating Chamber over the same days.

Derek Couper, 20 years old, Member of Scottish Youth Parliament and SYP Chair said:

"It's fantastic that both organisations are sitting at the epicentres of British democracy on the same day to discuss genuine problems and seek change.

This is what it's all about, young people coming together to affect the issues they care about most."

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme