Aspiring politicians from Milton Keynes to debate in House of Commons

Kayla Villiamil-Martinez and Adam Rolfe
Kayla Villiamil-Martinez and Adam Rolfe

Members of Youth Parliament for Milton Keynes will debate in House of Commons this week.

Adam Rolfe, 17, from Lord Grey School and 17-year-old Kayla Villamil-Martinez from Hazeley School will join over 300 elected members of UK Youth Parliament at a national debate in parliament on Friday, November 14.

The debate will decide the UK Youth Parliament’s priority campaigns for 2015 and will be chaired by the Speaker of the House of Commons - Rt. Hon John Bercow MP.

Kayla Villiamil-Martinez said: “I feel privileged to represent all young people from Milton Keynes

at this momentous event.

“I know that young people in Milton Keynes feel very passionate about the issues chosen in Make Your Mark and I thank all young people in Milton Keynes who took part this year.”

The debate will be broadcast live on BBC Parliament and will focus on the top five issues chosen by more than 878,488 young people in the UK Youth Parliament’s Make Your Mark ballot earlier this year.

Milton Keynes UK Youth MPs with support from members of Milton Keynes Youth Cabinet collected 7,109 ballots for Make Your Mark 2014, which works out at 29.39% of the youth population.

Milton Keynes came 39th out of 207 authorities for voter turnout and was the 2nd highest local authority within the South East region.

At the end of the five debates, Members of Youth Parliament will vote to decide which two issues will become their national campaigns for 2015.

The five issues up for debate are:

- The Living Wage

- Maths and English Exam Resists

- Work Experience

- Mental Health

- Votes for 16 and 17 year olds in all public elections

This debate marks the start of Parliament Week – an annual national awareness week, which aims to build greater understanding and engagement with parliamentary democracy in the UK.

It is the fifth time that the UK Youth Parliament has debated in the House of Commons chamber and they are the only group, other than MPs, allowed to do so.

Each debate topic will be introduced with speeches from regionally elected Members of Youth Parliament, who will put forward arguments for and against the issue becoming their campaign, before opening up to the floor. Following the five debates, each Member of Youth Parliament in the Chamber will vote for their top two issues. Ballot papers will be collected and counted by House of Commons staff, and the result will be announced by the Speaker of the House of Commons at the end of the event.

Councillor Sarah Betteley, Lead Member for Community Engagement and Empowerment at Milton Keynes Council said: “I am pleased to learn that Adam and Kayla will be representing all the young people in Milton Keynes at this debate on Friday.

“There are some really interesting issues to be debated and I am looking forward to hearing which two will become the UK Youth Parliament’s national campaigns this year.”