Horsham MP Francis Maude: Meet our Member of Youth Parliament

Francis Maude
Francis Maude

Last week I wrote about a recent meeting of West Sussex County Council Cabinet members and West Sussex MPs and the wonderful presentation that was made by West Sussex Youth MPs and Youth Cabinet.

I thought readers might be interested to hear a little more about the role directly from Thomas Eady, our very own Member of Youth Parliament - or MYP. Over to Thomas:

“An MYP is a young person who represents part of their county and my constituency is Horsham and Mid Sussex. There are many responsibilities that come with the role such as meeting with the county council and our local and parliamentary MP voicing opinions of young people in the area.

“I am also part of a group called the Youth Voice Network. This Network consists of several local groups from around West Sussex. One is the UK Youth Parliament, the group I work with. I attend monthly meetings for both the British Youth Council and the Youth Voice Network. We hope to expand the Youth Voice Network throughout the rest of the year and first half of next year, when I then reverse roles with my Deputy MYP to take my place.

“I got involved with the scheme to promote the voice of the youth, and I would welcome your ideas. So please e-mail me with any thoughts at 12teady@theweald.org.uk.”

Another forum that has dominated the news of late is the G8 – the summit of which was held in Northern Ireland earlier this week.

Our fellow members are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the USA -with the EU being represented as well.

What sets the G8 apart from other groups is the informal nature of the discussions between world leaders – pictures from Lough Erne showed David Cameron, Barack Obama and the others sat around a relatively small circular table, without the teams of advisors seen at European negotiations and the like.

This low-key format has stayed pretty much the same since the group first met, back in 1973 when it was comprised of just the finance ministers of the UK, USA, France and West Germany.

Over the last forty years membership has expanded with national leaders attending and it’s become an important forum that enables its members to co-operate in addressing the global challenges of the day.

The UK has the privilege of holding the Presidency of the organisation throughout 2013 and we made advancing trade, ensuring tax compliance and promoting greater transparency – along with working out an agreed approach to tackling the issue of Syria – our priorities for the year and the summit. Next year we’ll be handing over to Russia.

I’d like to conclude by thanking Thomas for his very interesting contribution to this week’s column.