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Calling all staff working with 12-25 year olds…

Youth Services are calling on staff working with 12-25 year olds to please encourage them to cast their Scottish  Youth Parliament votes before the deadline of 3pm on Friday 26 January.

Following a pause in voting period before the festive break, the Scottish Youth Parliament Elections and voting period is set to resume from 9am on Monday 15 January 2024 until 3pm on Friday 26 January across various venues in North Ayrshire.

Young people aged 12-25 are eligible to vote for their preferred candidate(s) for the new members of the Scottish Youth Parliament.

These four young people will be North Ayrshire’s representatives for a 2-year term, and will act as the democratically elected voice for the young people of North Ayrshire.

Voting will resume through paper ballots using a single transferrable vote system and number ranking.

All young people in North Ayrshire will be given the opportunity to vote for their candidate(s) over the next 2-week period via host of polling locations* including secondary schools, community centres, care settings and North Ayrshire Libraries.

Eight young people have thrown their hats into the ring to play a vital part in the Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP) elections for North Ayrshire.

The campaign has resumed to find the next young representatives for Scotland, as the current two-year tenure for existing MSYPs comes to an end.

Decorative image of Scottish Youth Parliament candidates for North Ayrshire with a vote now message and arrows

If you are eligble (a North Ayrshire resident age 12-25)  remember you can cast your votes too – Youth Services will have a pop up this Thursday 25 January next to reception at Cunninghame House 12-2pm)

So who exactly is in the running?

There are four candidates hoping to become Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYP) in both Cunninghame North and Cunninghame South – with just two seats available in each area.

MSYPs can help make young people’s voices heard at a local and national level on a range of matters, from climate change and mental health to poverty and LGBT issues.

Those elected will act as a sounding board to amplify the views of young people across North Ayrshire’s six localities.

The four candidates for Cunninghame South are:

  • Emma Burns. Her main issues are economy, environment and health and wellbeing.
    She said: “Voting for me will ensure that young people’s voices are heard and listened to. I care deeply about young people in our community and their rights. I will do everything in my power to make them feel valued and accepted, making a safe space to voice concerns and raise any issues.”
  • Lee Fitzpatrick, who is focusing on health and well-being, democracy and culture and media, said:
    “I believe in young people and young people should believe in me. Young people want someone they can trust – who will respect them – and that person is me. I will represent and stand up for them on the national stage.”
  • Freya Fitzsimmons, who has young people’s rights, the environment and democracy in her sights, shared:
    “Every young person has the right to be heard, and I am determined to make sure that they know that and that all young people feel they can express their concerns and be taken seriously. I would advocate tirelessly for young people to create a brighter, greener future for all.”
  • Brooke Ramsay, who will target equalities, the environment and health and well-being, said:
    “I have always admired the idea of leading young people and letting them become vocally active. I want young people to be aware of the issues that are in our community and have the encouragement to discuss these in a safe place.”

In Cunninghame North the candidates are:

  • Logan Gilmour, who plans to concentrate on equalities, health and wellbeing and poverty and inequality.
    “As I stand for re-election, my goals remain the same – to ensure that the voice of every young person is heard, to reduce child poverty, remove the stigma around drug and alcohol use and promote equality for all.”
  • Rhyan Gorrie will focus on poverty and inequality, health and well-being and transport.
    Rhyan said: “I am not just making promises. I’m dedicated to taking concrete action to improve the lives of people in our community. Together, we can build a brighter future for young people.”
  • Emma Henderson is targeting the issues of poverty and inequality, health and wellbeing and transport.
    She explained: “I want to represent young people to make sure their voices are heard. I also want to be a part of the change that affects young people across Scotland.”
  • Adam Johnson says equalities, health and wellbeing and democracy are his main issues. He said: “As a young person with a disability I have experience with mental health and disabilities. I put in the hard work and I am willing, determined, passionate and considerate – values that are good for an MSYP. I would represent everyone’s views and be a champion for young people.”

Voting will take place across all schools and communities from Monday 15 January to Friday 26 January 3pm.

You can see the candidates’ full profiles here:

Cunninghame North:

Cunninghame South:

Voting is open for 12–25-year-olds and in community settings, polling staff will ask for photo ID (Young Scot Card, Passport or Provisional/Driving Licence) before voting. For any further information regarding the SYP elections, please contact:

*Voting Centres for North Ayrshire SYP voting are as follows:

  • All secondary schools across North Ayrshire – voting will be open during school hours
  • Beith Trust
  • Pryde Kilwinning
  • Arran Youth Foundation
  • Irvine Legacy Hub
  • Ayrshire College
  • All North Ayrshire Childrens Houses (for residents only)
  • Locality teams delivering youth work over next 2 weeks
  • Extended outreach teams via their existing learning sessions
  • Young Carers Centre, Irvine – opening times here
  • All North Ayrshire Libraires – voting will be open during library opening hours

Supporting young people to vote

As a Council that actively supports the implementation of UNCRC, Article 12 states that young people should have their voice listened to in matters that affect them, the SYP voting process demonstrates active citizenship, participation and democracy in action.

This is a fantastic opportunity for our young people to take part in a democratic process and we hope it will be an exciting activity for them to be involved in.

The STV voting process will be completed effectively with young people completing the ballot paper using numbers in order rather than a single X.  Each ballot has the option of four candidates to choose from for each constituency.  Young people must vote in the constituency they live in, this is especially important for pupils of St Matthews Academy and Auchenharvie Academy where two constituency areas are covered.

Instead of young people selecting 1 preferred candidate, all voters will rank the candidates in order of their preference – 1 for their 1st choice, 2 for their 2nd choice etc. Voters can rank as many or as few candidates as they wish, however they are strongly encouraged to at least mark a 1st and 2nd choice as there are 2 positions available per constituency.

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