Forget  the US election and ‘Brexit’  the real debate took place in London where Halton Borough Council’s Member of Youth Parliament Thomas Norris joined young representatives from around the country debate in the House of Commons.

The annual UK Youth Parliament debates, chaired by Speaker of the House of Commons, the Rt Hon John Bercow MP decided the campaigns for Youth Parliament for the coming year.

Following the debates the UK Youth Parliament voted to campaign on two issues over the coming year: Votes for 16 and 17 Year Olds and A Curriculum to Prepare Us for Life. The day also saw debates on public transport, tackling racism and cuts to the NHS.

The UK Youth Parliament gives young people a voice on issues that matter to them. It is made up of over 300 Members who are elected by their peers to represent young people across the UK.

They work to ensure that the voices of young people are heard at a national, regional and local level. Anyone aged 11 – 18 can stand for and vote in elections to the UK Youth Parliament.

Thomas will be working hard over the coming months to ensure that the national campaigns make a real impact here in Halton and will be appealing to schools, the local authority and the borough’s MPs to back the campaigns.

Thomas said of his day in Parliament: “This was an amazingly exciting opportunity for me to debate in such a historic setting. The Houses of Parliament are at the absolute heart of democracy in the UK and it was brilliant to see it filled with passionate and committed young people.

“The topics we have chosen for our national campaign are hugely important and if we can achieve our goals on these campaigns we can make an enormous difference for young people across the country. I will be working hard to ensure that local and national politicians are listening to the young people of Halton on these topics.”

Halton Borough Council’s Executive Board Member for Children, Young People and Families, Cllr Tom McInerney, said: “It is really important young people get involved in politics and it’s great Thomas is so enthusiastic.