On 20 April 2018, Ceredigion Youth Council elected Esme Freeman as the County’s new Member of Youth Parliament (MYP) who will represent Ceredigion in the UK Youth Parliament in 2018-2019.

Esme Freeman, a Year 12 pupil at Ysgol Gyfun Aberaeron, was elected to take over from current MYP, Wil Rees, former pupil of Ysgol Gyfun Gymunedol Penweddig and former Vice-Chair of Ceredigion Youth Council, whose term in office as MYP is coming to an end.

Councillor Catrin Miles, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Learning Services, Flying Start and Team Around the Family said, “It’s vitally important that young people are given a platform to raise their voice and opportunities to take part in the political process. The UK Youth Parliament is an opportunity for Westminster to hear young people raising the issues they care about most. We are very proud of Esme as Ceredigion’s new MYP, and we wish her the best of luck for the forthcoming year at the preparation events, in the big debate in the House of Commons and the campaigning process following the debate.”

Esme will embark on her new role as MYP in the coming months, and will undertake various activities which will prepare her for the big debate in London in November 2018, where over 300 young people from across the UK will gather in the Houses of Commons Chamber, to take part in the annual UK Youth Parliament takeover debate, chaired by the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Rt Hon John Bercow MP.

Lowri Evans, Deputy Principal Youth Officer, Ceredigion Youth Service, said, “Every year, Ceredigion Youth Service work in partnership with Children in Wales to facilitate opportunities for young people from Ceredigion to have their say on various issues or topics that affect them. We really look forward to welcoming Esme as our new MYP and we look forward to supporting her to get a valuable experience as Ceredigion’s MYP. We’re confident that Esme is the ideal person for this role and we wish her all the best for the forthcoming year. We would also like to extend our many thanks to Wil for his hard work, determination and expertise as Member of Youth Parliament 2017-18. We will be sure to keep in touch with Wil regarding future events.”

Wil Rees, who represented Ceredigion’s young people during his last term as MYP, will be handing over the reins to Esme in the coming weeks. During Wil’s time in office, he worked tirelessly to campaign and champion the voices of Ceredigion’s young people, both locally and in the House of Commons in November 2017. Wil was successful in gathering the views and opinions of Ceredigion’s youth and part of his work campaigned to lower the voting age for Ceredigion’s young citizens.

Esme will also have the opportunity to work alongside Ceredigion Youth Service to deliver the Make Your Mark Campaign in Ceredigion, a nationwide ballot which will determine the issues discussed in the House of Commons. In in the past, these topics have included, accessible public transport for all, protecting the rights of LGBT+ people, votes for 16 and 17 year olds in all public elections and a curriculum to prepare us for life.