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Alice is the youth parliament voice

PUBLISHED: 18:50 28 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:27 03 March 2010

YOUNG people often get a bad press but now one Kesgrave student is making a stand to give her peers a voice.

Alice Chapman a pupil at Kesgrave High School is a member of the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) and she will soon be going out and about in Suffolk to find out exactly what makes youngsters tick.

YOUNG people often get a bad press but now one Kesgrave student is making a stand to give her peers a voice.

Alice Chapman a pupil at Kesgrave High School is a member of the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) and she will soon be going out and about in Suffolk to find out exactly what makes youngsters tick.

The 15-year-old has been elected as a deputy member of youth parliament (MYP) to represent youngsters in Suffolk.

There are four deputy MYP's and one MYP, who cover the Ipswich area of the county and Alice is likely to be the voice for the Suffolk Coastal area.

Once they have found out what people want the UKYP can then provide a representative national voice which will be listened to by the Government, political parties and service providers.

The Government is supporting the youth parliament, which got off the ground in 1999, and by being involved Alice has had the chance of a tour of the Houses of Parliament, sat in on Prime Minister's Question Time and has even met John Prescott.

The group does not have any power as such but as Alice describes it, "the power of influence" is just as important.

But it is not just meeting famous politicians that spurred Alice on to join the group – she thinks it is vital to have a respected voice for young people across the country.

One particular thing that many youngsters are concerned about is University fees.

Alice said: "A lot of my friends have been saying that they are not going to uni because it is too expensive.

"If people don't have enough money to go there will be an even bigger gap between the rich and poor and that is dangerous."

Other issues under discussion are things such as the environment and public transport.

Despite her interest in getting things done for youngsters, Alice is hoping to get into the world of media rather than becoming a politician when she leaves school.

As well as being in the UKYP, Alice is also involved in getting a Kesgrave Youth Council off the ground.

Already youngsters speaking up for themselves has sparked off plans for a skateboard park in the town.

A general meeting for the Kesgrave Youth Council is taking place tonight at the Kesgrave youth club at 7pm.

For further information on the UKYP call Glen Walters on 01473 721023 or Dave Ormston on 07740 491298/ 01473 624381.

For the Kesgrave Youth Council call Dave Ormston or e-mail kesgraveyouthcouncil@hotmail.com.

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