Northfield Students visit Parliament


I recently attended an event hosted jointly by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Parliamentary Reform in association with the Hansard Society, which aimed to allow parliamentarians to hear directly from young people and to look at ways in which Parliament can connect directly with them. I was joined by Lauren James, 12, from Turves Green Girls’ School, and Joseph Shaw, 14, from Turves Green Boys’ School. They were also accompanied by Ken Nimmo, the Headmaster of Turves Green Boys’.

They participated in several discussions examining a range of issues and put their points to the Rt Hon Peter Hain MP, Leader of the House of Commons. The young people, from all over the country, had a tour of Parliament and quizzed MPs on what we do when we are down in London. 

It is impossible to underestimate the importance of engaging young people in the political process – they are our future decision makers. Increasing turnout across the population and in particular the younger generation is paramount to the future of an active and vibrant democracy in the UK. Events such as this, and the Young People’s Parliament in Birmingham, provide an excellent way of actively encouraging and welcoming young people into politics.

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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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