Horsham council awarded for dedication to youth politics

democracy awards
democracy awards

HORSHAM District Council has been recognised for its hard work and commitment in holding elections for members of the West Sussex Youth Cabinet and UK Youth Parliament.

The council is the only local authority in West Sussex to be awarded the prestigious Innovative Delivery, Gold Democracy Award.

The elections formed part of the 2012 Junior Citizen event organised by Horsham District Council, which was attended by almost 1,000 pupils from schools throughout the District. The election element of the event, which was run in partnership with West Sussex County Council, had almost 100 per cent voter turnout.

Young people from the Horsham District travelled to the Palace of Westminster in London to collect the award on behalf of Horsham District last Tuesday July 10.

They were accompanied by Adam Breacher, HDC deputy cabinet member for a safer and healthier district and Clare Ebelewicz, Horsham District Council’s Senior Youth and Older Persons Officer.

The two young people who also attended have been involved in Horsham Children Can Do, a grants scheme that gives money to groups of children aged between five and 13 who want to do something positive in their community.

Financial support for Children Can Do has come from a range of organisations such as Saxon Weald, People Can Do and North Horsham Parish Council.

The young people collected the Innovative Delivery, Gold Democracy Award at the special ceremony hosted by Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families.

Infield Manor School in Five Oaks near Billingshurst and Millais School in Horsham collected Gold Awards.

Mr Breacher (Con, Billingshurst and Shipley) said: “To have almost a 100 per cent voter turnout is a fantastic achievement, especially when you consider voter turnout at the last district election was 46 per cent.

“It just shows that young people have the drive and determination to get involved in their local community and to express any concerns that they have.

“As a young councillor myself, I feel that it is crucial to listen and learn from the young people.

“It is important to work alongside them with any issues or concerns that they may have.”

For more information on West Sussex Youth Cabinet and Members of Youth Parliament, visit the Your Space website