The UK Youth Parliament Annual Sitting took place at the House of Commons on Friday 17 November. Olivia Smolicz proudly represented Carmarthenshire in London and was joined by over 200 other Members of the Youth Parliament [MYP] from across the UK.
The Youth Parliament, which is made up of young people aged 11-18, uses the 13th annual sitting to debate which issues the Youth Parliament should make a priority in 2024. 17-year-old Olivia from Hendy has been a member of the Youth Council for 5 years.
Each debate topic was introduced and after the arguments for and against each topic were outlined, the debate was opened to the floor, where Olivia was able to contribute and voice her opinion on behalf of Carmarthenshire before using her vote to decide which issue would become their national campaign for the upcoming year.
This year’s meeting was chaired by Speaker of the House, Rt Hon Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP, alongside Deputy Speaker Rt Hon Dame Rosie Winterton MP. Leader of the House, Rt Hon Penny Mordant MP was also in attendance.
Olivia, who is a dedicated and passionate young person, described her experience:
“I massively enjoyed being at the House of Commons, it was an outstanding experience. I mostly enjoyed listening to everyone’s opinions and how different everyone’s thoughts were about the different topics. Being able to hear everyone’s opinions was amazing because it has given me a better understanding of what is going on in the world. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity”.
The result of the vote on Friday means that the UK Youth Parliament will focus their attention on financing and funding of free school meals across the UK. For more information on this notion, visit their newsroom on the UK Youth Parliament website.
Olivia welcomes this decision, stating, “I think it’s really important that schools get the extra funding towards school meals as it will benefit children/youths to be able to enjoy their school meals and possibly even have better access to healthy meals”.
Well done to Olivia, we cannot wait to see what you achieve next!
To watch Fridays debate, visit the Parliament Live website.
For more information on the important work that the UK Youth Council is doing, visit their website.