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Record numbers make their mark in youth vote campaign

20 October 2017

Sarah Mahmood.

This year's annual Make Your Mark campaign saw a record number of young people from across the Rochdale borough cast their vote.

This year we had staggering 8,878 votes cast across Rochdale, over 3,300 more than last year's event (5,570 votes). The borough's youth cabinet drove the response, making sure that schools across the borough were engaged in the event. The council's youth service facilitated the huge range of activity the young people got involved in to promote the event, making this record breaking vote possible.

'It's great to see so many people engaged in democracy'

Councillor Donna Martin, cabinet member for children's services, was amazed by the results and said: "To get this many votes is amazing, well done to all the youth cabinet that drove the campaign and well done to everyone who made their mark. It's great to see so many people engaged in democracy and having their say on important issues."

'I'm delighted to have secured the most votes across the North West'

16-year-old Member of Youth Parliament for Rochdale, Sarah Mahmood, who attends Hollingworth Academy School, led the campaign in Rochdale and secured the highest number of votes in the whole of the North West, with a massive 3,000 votes generated. Sarah was delighted with the campaign and said; "The response has been amazing, I'm delighted to have secured the most votes across the North West and to see record figures for the Rochdale borough, it really shows that young people are interested in democracy."

Rochdale borough voted 'Work Experience Hubs for 11-18 years' as their top priority, 1,461 votes (16%). This topic made it in to the national results and the following five topics will be debated in the House of Commons on Friday, 10 November 2017, by the Youth Parliament;

  • A Curriculum to prepare us for life – Schools should cover topics including finance, sex and relationships and politics in the curriculum.
  • Transport – Make public transport cheaper, better and accessible for all. 
  • Work Experience hubs for 11-18 year olds – Knowing where to find work experience can be challenging. Government should create an online space to help young people with this. 
  • Votes at 16 – Give 16 and 17 year olds the right to vote in all elections/referendums.
  • Protect LGBT+ People – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender+ young people deserve to be treated the same as everyone else; discrimination needs to be challenged. 
For more information please visit Make Your Mark Youth Parliament.