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Young people urged to stand for Community Council elections (09/08/11)
For the first time in the Highlands, 16 and 17-year-olds will be able to seek election to their local Community Council.
The change is a key feature of a new scheme for the establishment of Community Councils agreed by The Highland Council earlier this year.
Another first is that Community Council elections will take place across the Highlands on the same day - Wednesday 16 November - in instances where the number of candidates exceeds the number of places available.
If there were elections in each of the 153 Highland Community Councils, there would be 1,322 Community Councillors elected.
To be eligible to stand, young people need to complete a voter registration form and submit it to the Election Office, Dingwall, by 31 August.
Voter registration forms and copies of the scheme for the establishment of Community Councils can be downloaded here. Forms can also be obtained from any Service Point, or by telephoning the Council’s Service Centre (Tel 01349 886606).
Convener Councillor Sandy Park said: “Community Councils will benefit hugely from the involvement of young people. The Highland Youth Voice, the youth parliament for the Highlands, has shown the very valuable contribution young people can make to the policy making and decision taking process.
“I would encourage young people with an interest in serving their local Community Council to complete a voter registration form by 31 August to ensure their eligibility. We will be actively promoting Community Council elections in our 29 secondary schools once pupils return from their summer break.”
Paige Shepherd, Highland Youth Voice Executive Member, said: “Sixteen and seventeen year olds being able to stand for Community Councils is a huge milestone for young people. Having their say about what goes on in their communities and the opportunity to vote is fantastic! This should encourage more young people to be involved in Community Councils and make a change in their communities for the better!”