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imageThe Island’s Deputy Member of the Youth Parliament, Will Matthews, today (Sunday) joined Councillor Chris Whitehouse to take an opinion poll to the youngsters of the Island in a burger restaurant.

Will, from Cowes, is taking part in the annual Make Your Mark ballot, the largest consultation of young people in the country, and today persuaded the Isle of Wight Council’s Conservative Education Spokesman, Cllr Whitehouse, to join him to ask young people in McDonalds restaurant, Newport, to fill in ballot papers as part of the consultation.

Until 10th October young people across the country are being asked what issues matter most to them, to determine what is debated by the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) in the House of Commons on 14th November. Most of the voting is taking place online and through ballot papers issued in schools and youth centres, but today Will and Cllr Whitehouse visited McDonalds with permission of the Manager to get even more ballots completed.

Ten topics are available to choose from on the initial Make Your Mark ballot paper, ranging from votes for 16 year olds and GCSE re-sit policies to euthanasia and the living wage. The five most popular topics among young people will go on to be discussed by MYPs in their November debate, chaired by the Speaker of the House of Commons Rt. Hon. John Bercow MP and broadcast live on BBC Parliament.

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Last year, the Make Your Mark ballot surveyed the opinions of over 478,000 young people, making it the largest youth consultation of its kind in the UK.

Will said:

“This year we’ve set a target of getting 1,000,000 young people to take part, so I’m pulling out all the stops to get the best possible response from young people on the Island.”

Speaking today, Cllr Whitehouse said:

“Will’s done a fantastic job getting ballots filled in through most of our high schools, several thousand of them already. If you want to find out what young people think, you have to ask them, and if you want to ask them you have to find them. That’s why were in McDonalds on a Sunday afternoon making sure nobody missed out on the chance to give their views.”

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Photographed L-R: Cllr Chris Whitehouse with Katie Williams, Charley Kerr and Annie Lamb (all aged 14) and Will Matthews.

Photo thanks to Freya Williams.

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