On February 7th 2011, Harry began formalizing plans to hold next month’s Youth Parliament residential in Hope. The residential would bring together all the returning MYPs and the new ones elected elsewhere in their 2011 elections.
The Planning Committee meeting he attended yesterday involved MYPs, Sheffield Futures staff and Procedures Group members. The body chose the training sessions they felt would best benefit the MYPs attending the residential, how best to organize the voting for regional campaigns and also on the final agenda for the day.
Sessions on how best to campaign, debate and communication were chosen as most important. Media handling and relationships were also put at the top of residential’s agenda, following the loss of UKYP’s national media unit because of the cuts by central government to the organisation’s funding.
The final point the planning committee debated was whether or not to allow non-elected but still representative groups to be co-opted into the Youth Parliament. Harry raised the point that UKYP is itself quite a broadly representative body. In fact in 2009, the parliament was praised by Speaker John Bercow for its diverse composition, commenting: “I have always been struck by the fact that 50% of you or thereabouts are female, approximately 20% of you are from black and minority ethnic communities and approximately 10% of you have some form of disability.”
The final agenda for the residential was also decided upon. Harry took the lead in this, as he wishes to ensure his own campaign of the Young Carers’ Card is continued by the new MYPs. The residential will have presentations from campaigns, including Harry’s, and then voting by all the Yorkshire and Humberside members will take place to decide the region’s priorities for the next year. Harry hopes to use further meetings of the Planning Committee to improve the chances of the young carers’ cause, in line with his commitment to creating a fairer and more supportive society for young people.