Congratulations to Ian Goley who was elected as the Member of the UK youth parliament to represent Southport. The count for Sefton's two members and their deputies was held at the Royal Clifton Hotel. I was very pleased to learn that over 3000 young people had taken part in the elections and that the positions were keenly contested with even talk of recounts.
Tonight we also heard a report back from the retiring members all of whom were very impressive and heard a band (The Hamiltons)which consisted of three of them
Ian and is colleague from South Sefton Ben Casey both talked of how they wished to change the general public's view of young people and helped present a more positive image.
Ian also wanted to speak to the council about facilities for young people.
Council Leader Tony Robertson gave enthusiastic support to the scheme and spoke about the positive impact that the Youth Council had in his area. Also on hand to give their encouragement were four other Sefton Councillors; Ann Ibbs, Mike Booth, Peter Hough and me.
Many of us started out in Youth politics and I hope that this generation have as much fun as we did. Back then significantly more young people were actively involved in the political organisation and were able to make an impact on public opinion in a way that is much more difficult today. The body politic would be much healthier if young people were more fully involved. I suspect that in order to make that happen we will have to be prepare to change the way that we operate and listen carefully to what they say about how they communicate and debate with each other. There are big issues about the way we run and organise society especially over issues like the environment, lifestyles and international economic justice. We need to be careful not to squash young people's ideas or dragoon them into our structures. We will all benifit if we have the courage to open our minds to what this generation have to say.