Darlington youth partnership

Darlington has a Youth Partnership, the aim of which is to take forward issues that children and young people from the borough of Darlington have identified and to campaign for change to happen. The Youth Partnership aims to ask for their opinions on the important things going on in Darlington, whether it is new town developments, cuts to public spending or youth activities. We have an elected Youth MP who recently published his manifesto. The manifesto was made, using the opinions of many young people in Darlington. The manifesto is as follows:

  • Free school breakfasts for all School students
  • Youth discount cards
  • Minimum wage for under 16's and a raise to the under 18's minimum wage

Following his election this will now become the plan with the focus being on the concept of free breakfasts. Steps have already been taken in an attempt to achieve this and everyone involved is hard at work to improve the education and lifestyle of young people in Darlington. Also high up on the list of things to do is improving mental health in the area. This links closely to what the CYPP is trying to achieve in their own campaign. Francis said: "I think the free breakfasts won me a lot of my votes, therefore I think it is only right to follow through on that, first and foremost and as best I can." 

Darlington Youth MP

The election is over, the votes have been counted and the new Youth MP for Darlington has been revealed as Francis Humble.

Five budding politicians came forward as candidates in a bid to represent the borough in the UK Youth Parliament and more than 3,700 young people took part in the election – a 38 per cent turnout.

Francis secured his place as Darlington’s Youth MP with 1,715 votes, which gave him a significant majority of 1,170. The 14-year-old, from Carmel College had campaigned for an increase in the minimum wage for under-18s and an under-16 minimum wage; a free school breakfast for every pupil at every school and a discount card for leisure facilities in Darlington.

His deputy, Htet Wunna, who is campaigning to Protecting our Schools from Damaging Budget Cuts, Votes at 16 in all public elections and improve Mental Health service by reducing the negative reputation around mental health and make counselling more accessible in schools.

Francis said:

“It is a real honour for me to be able to represent the young people of Darlington. I promise to do my best to make sure they are heard.

“Congratulations to all the other candidates who led amazing campaigns, particularly David Wilson who I am looking forward to working with. A huge thanks to all those who voted in the election and I look forward to serving Darlington’s young people as best I can.”

Councillor Cyndi Hughes, Darlington Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, added:

“The turnout was a little down on the last Youth MP election but was still terrific, particularly in light of the appalling weather which meant some schools were closed for a few days. The vote was extended as a result and I’m delighted do many young people took the time to have their say.

“I look forward to working with Francis and Htet in the coming months and hope they enjoy the experience of being part of the UK Youth Parliament.”

The role of Youth MP includes meeting MPs and Local Councillors, holding events and running campaigns.

Voting took place between 26 February and 6 March, with the votes counted and the results announced by the Mayor of Darlington Cllr Jan Taylor in the Council Chamber at Darlington Town Hall on Thursday (8 March)

Young People's Plan 2017-22

We want to make sure that all children and young people growing up in Darlington get the best start in life - for example you feel safe, are healthy, are achieving at school, grow up in a caring community and enjoy life, read more about the plan

Make Your Mark

Youth Parliament [external link]

Francis Humble Darlington's MYP

Hi, I’m Francis Humble and I am Darlington’s Member of Youth Parliament. I am 14 years old and I am a year 9 student at Carmel College. I am campaign for:

Minimum Wage

It is unbelievable, there is not a standing minimum wage for people under the age of 16. That means that if a 15-year-old does the same job as an 18-year-old then the 15-year-old can be paid much less. There is a minimum wage for 16 and 17-year-olds but they are paid £1.55 an hour less than 18-year-olds, even if they are doing exactly the same job and the same amount of work. I believe we should be paid a fair wage based on our ability and our commitment to work not paid less because we are younger. 
A fair minimum wage for under 18’s would give more of an incentive for us to work and to gain experience of employment which will help us develop later in life.

Free School Breakfasts

It is a well-known fact that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Your breakfast feeds your brain and helps you to learn, giving you the energy for your day. Unfortunately, many people cannot afford or do not have time for breakfast before school. A free school breakfast for every pupil at every school would see all kinds of educational and lifestyle improvements. 

Youth Leisure Cards

These days, for a teenager who is still in school everything seems very expensive. I aim to implement a leisure card for young people based at Darlington schools that warrants discounts on leisure facilities and events around the town. This card will be applicable in cinemas, gyms, swimming pools, sports facilities, theatres. This would not only help young people to develop outside interests and keep fit but would also mean more people are inclined to use these facilities since it will cost less – therefore it will also boost the earnings of these facilities and the economy in the town. 

National News

UK Youth Parliament have chosen to campaign on votes at 16 and a curriculum for life in 2017.

UK Youth Parliament [external link]

Votes for 16 year olds

Here are some reasons why you should be able to vote at 16;

  • Give full consent to medical treatment;
  • Pay income tax and National Insurance
  • Obtain tax credits and welfare benefits in their own right
  • Consent to sexual relationships
  • Get married or enter a civil partnership, with parental consent;
  • Change their name by deed poll;
  • Become a director of a company;
  • Serve in the armed forces but not deployed on the front line.

Why not check out our Facebook page [external link] Twitter page [external link] or contact:
Andy Whittam
Participation Officer
[email protected]