Want to know what young people think of Parliament? Ask them!

From: Hansard Society
Published: Thu Feb 24 2005

Rt Hon Peter Hain MP, Leader of the House of Commons, will join an All Party Group of MPs to hear young people’s reactions to recent proposals aimed at boosting public engagement with Parliament, at a ground breaking event organised by the Hansard Society and chaired by Anne Campbell MP.

Connecting Parliament with Young People
Wednesday March 2
5.20 - 6.20pm in Committee Room 10

Forty young people from constituencies around the country will be coming to Westminster to meet their MPs and examine the proposals put forward in the Modernisation Select Committee’s report Connecting Parliament with the Public. Topics they will be exploring include:

· The Citizenship Curriculum – is it working?
· Should Parliament communicate through newsletters and websites?
· A New Voter’s Guide – would it interest you?
· Should Parliament make more use of the internet to consult online?
· What’s the best way to let young people know what Parliament does?

The young people will be putting forward their criticisms and suggestions to Peter Hain, who chairs the Modernisation Committee, as well as other MPs who will join in a discussion of the issues raised.

Connecting Parliament with Young People organiser, Vidya Ram from the Hansard Society commented: "This event offers young people from all over the country a unique opportunity to get their views heard by participating directly in the modernisation of Parliament. It’s an innovative way of involving new voices in the work of select committees which hopefully will act as a template for future inquiries."

Journalists are invited to attend this event (cameras welcome).
Peter Hain will answer questions related to the issue raised in the meeting.
The young people involved are available for interview.

Further information: Virginia Gibbons (Hansard Society) on 020 7395 4010
or 07812 765 552

Editors’ Notes
· Connecting Parliament with Young People is organised by the Hansard Society in association with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Parliamentary Reform and funded by The Electoral Commission.

· Participating MPs who are bringing young constituents to Connecting Parliament with Young People event are: Richard Burden MP (Birmingham Northfield); Anne Campbell MP (Cambridge); Ann Coffey MP (Stockport); Alan Duncan MP (Rutland and Melton); Linda Gilroy MP (Plymouth Sutton); David Hanson MP (Delyn); Dr Evan Harris MP (Oxford West and Abingdon); Oliver Heald MP (North East Hertfordshire); Charles Hendry MP (Wealden); Paul Holmes MP (Chesterfield); Kelvin Hopkins MP (Luton North); Dr Brian Iddon MP (Bolton South East); How Irranca Davies MP (Ogmore); Mark Lazarowicz MP (Edinburgh North and Leith); Fiona Mactaggart MP (Slough); Julie Morgan MP (Cardiff North); Ken Purchase MP (Wolverhampton North East ); Christine Russell MP (City of Chester); Barry Sheerman MP (Huddersfield ); Dr Richard Taylor MP (Wyre Forest).

· The Hansard Society is an independent, non-partisan educational charity which exists to promote effective parliamentary democracy. It works with young people through schools and colleges to develop innovative ways to involve them in participatory democratic activities.

· The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Parliamentary Reform promotes the reform of parliament in order to improve the effectiveness of the work of parliament. Chair: Anne Campbell MP, Vice-Chair: Andrew Tyrie MP, Secretary: Richard Allan MP.

· The Electoral Commission is an independent body established by UK Parliament. It aims to ensure public confidence and participation in the democratic process within the United Kingdom through modernisation of the electoral process and promotion of public awareness of electoral matters.

Company: Hansard Society
Contact Name: Virginia Gibbons
Contact Email: mediaprog@hansard.lse.ac.uk
Contact Phone: 020 7395 4010

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