Young people able to make real difference

YOUNG people in the Rye and Battle area are being urged to make their voices heard - by standing for election to the county’s Youth Cabinet.

The Big Vote 2013 will offer youngsters the chance to represent their peers for the next two years and to campaign on issues which affect their lives.

Almost 9,000 young people cast their vote in the last election in 2011, with applications now open for candidates to stand in this year’s poll, to be held in November and December.

Youth Cabinet member for Rother area, Solomon Curtis, 16, said: “Over the past two years I’ve spoken in the House of Commons, been a member of the Commons youth select committee, talked to thousands of young people, met with government ministers, influenced policy and had great fun - none of this would have been possible if I hadn’t decided to stand in the big vote.”

The achievements of the current Youth Cabinet include work on developing a new ‘three-in-one’ card, functioning as an identity card and offering eligible discounts on bus travel and in shops and leisure outlets.

The Cabinet has also helped to organise a youth conference and workshop aimed at discussing, tackling and preventing bullying and delivered a presentation to the senior East Sussex County Council Cabinet on how the authority’s spending proposals would impact on young people.

Sylvia Tidy, county council cabinet member for children and families, said: “Joining the Youth Cabinet is a great chance for young people to develop skills in communication and working together.

Young people aged 11 to 16 can stand as a candidate, and those aged 11 up to their 19th birthday can vote, if they live, learn or work in East Sussex.

The closing date for applications is July 8. Applicants must obtain a candidate information pack. Packs can be obtained by texting 07879 117561, calling 01273 335250 or emailing participation.team@eastsussex.gov.uk while more information is available online at www.connexions360.org.uk/youthcabinet.