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Teenager Sam makes his political mark

PUBLISHED: 11:43 28 May 2010 | UPDATED: 09:44 01 August 2010

A BECCLES Middle School pupil could represent his county in the House of Commons after being elected onto the Suffolk Youth Parliament.

Sam Kenward is one of just eight young people on the assembly, which was elected by 11-18-year-olds across the county.

A BECCLES Middle School pupil could represent his county in the House of Commons after being elected onto the Suffolk Youth Parliament.

Sam Kenward is one of just eight young people on the assembly, which was elected by 11-18-year-olds across the county.

At the age of 13, he is the youngest in the Suffolk parliament, but does not intend to let that hold him back in his two-year tenure.

“I felt quite privileged that I could be a representative of people, and hopeful it's the beginnings of a political career,” he said. “I've been interested in politics for about five or six years. I believe that everybody should have a right to a say and I believe that if I ever became an MP I'd do the best I could.”

Sam spent four weeks campaigning to be elected and during that time gave assemblies to his fellow pupils about the General Election, explaining the voting system, the House of Commons, and the nature of a hung Parliament.

There were 10 candidates for young people in Suffolk to choose from and Sam was one of the eight to be elected.

If it performs well, the Suffolk Youth Parliament could be selected to join in the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) debates at the House of Commons.

The Suffolk Youth Parliament held its first meeting a few weeks ago at the Apollo Centre in Halesworth.

“We were trying to familiarise ourselves with each other,” he said. “We were also talking about the plan for the next two years and we got talking about our constituencies. I'm representing the whole of Suffolk but because I live in Waveney it's likely that Waveney will be my area.”

Sam is a member of the “green council” at his school, and he feels very strongly about the environment. “Parks are one of the things I'm trying to fight for,” he said. “I'm trying to make them safer and better.”

He said that politics in England became more interesting for young people in the last election. “I don't support any particular party but I think the coalition government is a new horizon for everyone, especially someone my age,” he explained.

“I think this General Election has opened up interests with other young people because most elections have quite a clear winner.”

The UKYP aims to give young people a voice that will be heard and listened to by local and national government, as well as others who have an interest in the views and needs of young people.

It is made up of over 500 MYPs (Members of the Youth Parliament) and deputy MYPs.

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