Fresh faces in ‘parliament’ for Tring and Berkhamsted

New members of Herts Youth Parliament Ahmed Al-Maadanli
New members of Herts Youth Parliament Ahmed Al-Maadanli

The voice of young people in Dacorum is now a little louder thanks to the election of two new youth MPs.

The enthusiastic politicians, 14-year-old Ahmed Al-Maadanli and 16-year-old Kirsty Robertson, hit the campaign trail, posting written and video manifestos on the county’s youth website ChannelMogo.

Their hard work was rewarded when an online vote resulted in them being chosen to represent Tring and Berkhamsted respectively in the youth parliament.

The election results were announced at County Hall, where cabinet member for children’s services Richard Roberts congratulated the newly elected MYPs and deputies.

He said: “This will be an exciting journey for these young people who will be working to make a difference for others across Hertfordshire.

“I am absolutely determined that the voice of young people is heard in Hertfordshire, as we should never underestimate the power of of a young person speaking with conviction.”

Ahmed, whose grandfather is former Dacorum borough councillor Derek Townsend, is Tring’s new MYP.

He said: “I’ve always had a lust for politics. My grandfather used to take me to council meetings when I was younger, and at the time I thought it was really boring because I didn’t understand what was going on, but now I find it really interesting. So I guess that’s what inspired me.”

Ahmed, who also lives in Tring, feels particularly strongly about the cost of public transport for young people, and thinks it should be made cheaper.

The Tring School student said: “My sister has to pay £200 a term for a bus pass that she can only use Monday to Friday, excluding half-term.”

Kirsty, who lives in Berkhamsted, first became interested in running for youth parliament when she heard about the role through a previously-elected youth town council member.

Ashlyns School student Kirsty is the new deputy member of youth parliament for Berkhamsted.

She said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have been elected, and I’m so grateful for all of the support I’ve received from everyone. I want to make a change and represent young people locally, regionally and nationally.”

Kirsty is keen to campaign for a “relevant and informative” PSHE curriculum to be rolled out in schools, including lessons on sex and relationships and money and budgeting.

She said: “I think we need to start preparing young people for real life before they leave school.”

Ahmed and Kirsty will join the 10 other young people also elected in getting the voice of Herts 1125 heard.

Herts 1125 represents the views and opinions of all those aged 11 to 25 living, working and studying in the county.

The MYPs and DYMPs will be researching and consulting on the top five priority issues as voted for by young people in Hertfordshire.

These include more support for young people with personal issues, as well as discount on leisure, sporting and cultural activities for youngsters.

Apprenticeships are also a hot topic, as the younger generation want to see an increase in these types of opportunities across the country.

A London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic legacy is also on the agenda, as is improving the relationship between the police force and young people.

For more information or to get involved, visit channelmogo.org.