Borders youngsters choose their champions

SBC Children's Champion Councillor John Paton-Day, Christina Hendry, Amber Masters, Andrew McGowan and SBC Convenor Councillor Alasdair Hutton.
SBC Children's Champion Councillor John Paton-Day, Christina Hendry, Amber Masters, Andrew McGowan and SBC Convenor Councillor Alasdair Hutton.

THREE Scottish parliamentary candidates celebrated their victories in Newtown St Boswells last Monday, writes Sally Gillespie.

The results of the Scottish Youth Parliament were announced in the council chambers of Scottish Borders Council.

Nearly 6,000 young people from secondary schools, Borders College and other youth organisations voted.

Amber Masters from Galashiels was elected to represent Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, while Christina Hendry from Hawick and Andrew McGowan from Eyemouth were successful in the Ettrick, Roxburghshire and Berwickshire seat.

Amber said: “I want to be able to help young people get the most out of their life. I am happy I was elected as I can try to help the local community.”

Christina commented: “This is a great honour and I can’t wait to get started.”

Andrew added: “Running my own campaign and creating my own manifesto was a great experience. It was fantastic to meet the other candidates, as well as interacting with young voters.

“I now can’t wait to get started in my role as an MSYP and champion the young people of Ettrick, Roxburghshire and Berwickshire.”

The young people’s parliament describes itself as a democratic and politically independent and it was set up in 1999 as a national voice for Scottish youths.

The three newly-elected candidates take over from the current MSYPs in June. They will be spending the next two months undertaking training with SBC’s Community Learning and Development department to take on their new role.

They will also work with the other election candidates to form a Scottish Youth Parliament Action Group to increase SYP activity in the Borders and the number of young people getting involved.

SBC’s chief executive David Hume, returning officer during the other Scottish Parliamentary elections, announced the results of the election after SBC convener Alasdair Hutton had presented current MSYPs Liam Beattie, Janie Orr and Stacey Grieve with an award to recognise the service they have given to the region.

Former SBC children’s champion councillor Frances Renton presided over the evening and welcomed her replacement Councillor John Paton-Day.

Eight candidates in the Borders stood for the parliament where 149 MSYPs represent Scottish young people and elections are held every two years. And in the Borders election 5,846 votes were cast by young people aged 12-25 years.

The region’s MSYPs are supported by SBC’s Community Learning and Development department.

YOB, page 30