CARMARTHENSHIRE Youth Council (CYC) has marked the UKYP National Day of Action by launching its campaigns for the next 12 months.

Members have decided to get on board with the two chosen national issues – Votes@16 and Curriculum Reform.

During the coming year CYC will be undertaking school council debates, work with senior education managers in Carmarthenshire County Council about the curriculum reform which is taking place in Wales, as well as hosting consultation sessions and social media campaigns.

The topics have been chosen following the results of last year’s Mark your Mark ballot.

CYC member Alisha Gibbons led on the campaign in Carmarthenshire, which saw 4,635 (turnout of 26%) young people aged between 11-18 across the county get involved and vote on the most important issue to them. This was the largest turnout in Carmarthenshire since Make Your Mark began in 2011.

Alisha, from Tycroes, was elected to represent Carmarthenshire and Wales as Carmarthenshire’s UK Youth Parliament Member for 2017/18 by her colleagues on Carmarthenshire Youth Council.

The 17-year-old joined members of the UKYP in the House of Commons last November to debate and decide on the most important issue to campaign on for 2018.

Alisha said: “Not only has being a member of the United Kingdom Youth Parliament given me confidence and strength, but it’s also given me the chance to meet people from all over the UK and to hear their opinions.

"The votes at 16 campaign is a very special topic, as it gives us the voice and chance to help shape decisions that affect us most. Curriculum for life is also important as we, the younger generation need a curriculum that will prepare us for the busy world ahead of us.”

In November, Carmarthenshire County Council’s full council supported a notice of motion initiated by CYC to support lowering the voting age to 16.

Executive board member for education and children’s services, Cllr Glynog Davies, said: “Young people in the county quite rightly believe that these subjects are important as the results of the Mark Your Mark ballot show. It is important now that we use this intelligence, especially in regards with the Youth Council’s work on the ‘Curriculum to prepare us for life’ campaign, to help inform the curriculum reform agenda in Wales.

“A lot of work has already been done on the Votes@16 campaign. At full council I presented a motion which was initiated by CYC which I’m pleased to say councillors supported. I look forward to continuing to work with the Youth Council members this year in raising awareness of these issues.”