ROSSENDALE has a new youth parliamentary representative in 16-year-old Georgina Lloyd.
Georgina, from Weir, first campaigned when she was a pupil at Northern Primary School in Bacup and succeeded in getting a new climbing frame on the park across from her home.
The Year 11 student at Haslingden High School has been a member of her school’s Student Council as well as Rossendale District Youth Council for the past year.
The election for Rossendale Member of the Youth Parliament (MYP) was held at the new Rossendale Youth Zone in Rawtenstall while Georgina was away on a school media trip to Los Angeles. As a result she submitted her manifesto on video which was played to the members.
“My friend Joe Henry was the previous Member of the Youth Parliament and he said I should try for it,” she said.
“I got a message from him after the election to say, ‘They gave you the power!’ I was really excited but I got the message at 2am because I was in America and everyone was telling me to be quiet and go back to bed.”
Georgina already attends district youth council meetings in Rawtenstall and will be going to Preston for meetings when she will meet other MYPs from around Lancashire. At some stage she will also be speaking up for the youth of Rossendale in London.
“I decided to go for it because I didn’t want to look back in two years’ time and think that I had missed a good opportunity,” she said.
“I will be in post for two years and I personally hope to be able to give young people more of a voice. It will also give me more experience of speaking to new people.”
She said one of the campaigns was trying to get the voting age reduced to 16, as has already been introduced in Scotland.
“I think we need to change the image of young people,” she said. “Adults sometimes perceive us as too immature and that we don’t know what we are talking about, but many adults do not know why they vote in a certain way.
“I think it all needs to start with education and people need to know how they can make a difference.”
The determined teen said being elected to the youth parliament has made her more interested in politics. She has already met Haslingden MP Graham Jones and will be meeting Young People’s Champion Bacup Councillor Steve Hughes.
As yet she is undecided about what career she wants to pursue, but is considering studying politics alongside history as a degree.