Poole elects new members to Youth Parliament on anti-bullying platform. Over 120 young people packed into Poole’s civic centre on Friday, for the 12th annual UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) elections.
Jack Matthews, a 15-year-old GCSE student in his final year at Poole Grammar School, surpassed 12 other candidates to the position of Member of Youth Parliament (MYP) for Poole, after an enthusiastic speech earned thunderous applause.
Though his policies echoed those of his opponents, promising to pursue cheaper public transport for young people and to bring an end to bullying in schools, it was Mr Matthews catchy and entertaining slogans such as “Poole is beautiful but boring”, which captured the attention and votes of the majority of young people in the room.
Coming in second, and duly appointed as Deputy MYP for Poole, was Ben Howard,16, who further campaigned to prevent bullying in Poole’s schools and to tackle the issue of youth unemployment.
When questioned on the subject as to how he would deal with these two big issues Mr Howard replied: “In terms of youth unemployment I will be focusing on apprenticeships and internships with local businesses, anti bullying will hopefully be the creation of anti bullying alliances in most secondary schools.”
Vicky Olive, 16, who held the position of MYP for Poole 2010-11 and Deputy MYP 2011-12, remains optimistic that some ground can be made on the issue of bullying, stating: “no amount of time is long enough to eradicate bullying, but every little change can help one person who has been bullied, or prevent another person from being bullied. So although an MYP might not eradicate it, they can definitely make a difference”.