Councillor Hamza Taouzzale’s Youth Newsletter – June 2019
I was elected to Westminster in May 2018 as the only 18-year-old Councillor in the 50-year history of the Council. I represent Queen’s Park Ward. Having been in post for one year, I have produced this newsletter to focus on youth issues in Westminster – which I hope you will find of interest.
Labour Lord Mayor
15th May 2019 saw another notable moment in Westminster – when Councillor Ruth Bush was installed as the first Labour Lord Mayor for Westminster. Ruth is currently a Councillor representing Harrow Road ward. During her year of office as the Civic Mayor, Ruth will be supporting the ‘All Sings Community Choir’, the Westminster Tree Trust. I am pleased to note that she will also be supporting local youth facilities by raising money through the Young Westminster Foundation.
Youth MP and Deputy
Westminster Youth Elections took place this year between 4th and 21st March. 15% of young people (1800 voters) took part in the election of a Youth MP and deputy for a two-year period of office.
- Civan Tereas, aged 13 (St George’s RC Academy School) was elected as Youth MP
- Issac Saliu, aged 16 (Pimlico Academy School), was elected as Deputy Youth MP.
Civan is the first 13year old elected as Westminster’s Youth MP and I wish him well in undertaking his duties. I intend to liaise closely with Civan and Issac on issues they pursue. They also meet regularly with the Youth Council that meets every Monday at Westminster City Council, 64 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QP from 5.30pm to 7.30pm (term time only).
‘Make Your Mark’
‘Make Your Mark’ UK Youth Parliament has a scheme called ‘Make Your Mark’ – offering an opportunity to reach young people who may go on to become opinion formers and leaders of the future. They contact youth through schools, online activity and grassroots networks. Nearly 1 million young people take part in the annual ‘Make Your Mark’ ballot.
In July, Youth MPs from across the country will meet to decide on 5 Devolved Topics and 5 National Topics that will be voted on by the million young people.
The outcome of the vote will determine the issues for young people for debate by Youth MPs in Parliament in November. Last year 1 in 5 young people under 18 voted and the issues they raised ranged from ending knife crime; welcoming refugees and campaigning for 16yr olds to vote.
‘Votes at 16’
‘Votes at 16’ engage 16 / 17 year olds – who already hold many responsibilities in society, to influence key decisions affecting their lives and ensuring youth issues are represented. They believe there is no justification to automatically exclude 16/17 year olds from the right to vote because, at 16, the law already allows a person to:
- give full consent to medical treatment
- leave school and enter work or training
- pay Income Tax and National Insurance
- obtain tax credits and welfare benefits
- consent to sexual relationships
- get married or enter a civil partnership
- change their name by deed poll
- become a director of a company
- join the Armed forces
- join a Trade Union or a Co-operative society.
If you would like to find out more and potentially be involved, contact details are as follows: Votesat16@byc.org.uk
Landline: 020 72 50 83 77
Surgeries and contact details:
@ 2pm – 2nd Monday / month – Ward Councillor surgery – Beethoven Centre W10 4JL
@ 6pm on 2nd Friday / month U27s Youth surgery Avenues Youth Club W10 4RS
WCC caseworker: 020 76 41 42 99
Latest news @ www.westminsterlabour.org.uk