Shetland MSYP Emily Shaw won the “one to watch” category at the seventh annual Scottish Youth Parliament awards at Troon on Saturday.
Emily was also shortlisted in the “MSYP of the year” category, while SIC services support worker Martin Summers was shortlisted for “support worker of the year”.
She said: “The award ceremony on Saturday night was a fantastic event which celebrated the achievements of MSYPs from all over Scotland. I was honoured to have been awarded the ‘one to watch’ award. The Scottish Youth Parliament is my passion and my position representing Shetland has given me many opportunities.”
Earlier MSYPs from all over Scotland had gathered in Prestwick for the third sitting of the 2011/2012 term. They voted to mount a national campaign for “votes at 16” between now, the Scottish local government elections and the build-up to the Scottish referendum consultation.
The two-day sitting also saw six members’ motions debated with five passed in favour to become part of SYP policy, building on the parliament’s manifesto “Change the Picture”. They were:
• Governments of the world should not attempt to further censor the internet. Doing so would compromise liberty, privacy, human rights and freedom of information (88 votes in favour);
• SYP believes the national minimum wage should be raised in line with the living wage, as calculated by the Centre for Research in Social Policy, in order to guarantee workers the decent standard of living they deserve (88 votes in favour);
• An additional local levy (around 1.5 per cent) on alcoholic drinks is introduced with the proceeds being “ring-fenced” and used to finance local services which address problems associated with alcohol misuse – with particular emphasis being given to the provision of recreational facilities and services for young people (77 votes in favour);
• Students in secondary education should not be discriminated against in local supermarkets, petrol stations and small local shops during lunch hour (88 votes in favour);
• That the Scottish Youth Parliament criticises the poor judgment of Scottish universities which have drastically increased their fees for applicants from the rest of the United Kingdom (54 votes in favour);
• To make St Andrew’s Day a public holiday in Scotland (77 votes against).
On Sunday the MSYPs took part in a debate on a topical and controversial issue: “assisted suicide should be legalised”. There were opening speakers both for and against and after an interesting and emotionally debate, the motion was passed by the membership.
Nicole said: “It was a really successful weekend of debating with the awards to top it all off. It was brilliant to see the hard work of MSYPs being recognised. I’m looking forward to the work in the next few months to bring forward “votes at 16″, which was chosen at the sitting to be our campaign until summer.”
Emily added: “I am extremely grateful for all the support that has been given to me by my family, fellow MSYP Nicole Mouat, Martin Summers, MSP Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands Council and our sponsors Tesco Lerwick and Flybe. The award has inspired me to continue to work hard to represent young people on a local and national level.”