Teenagers Kaylee Mouat and Kelvin Anderson have been elected to the Scottish Youth Parliament, it was announced at Lerwick Town Hall today, and will serve a two-year term.
They were selected from five candidates in an online election which saw a 14 per cent increase in the number of votes cast compared to the previous election in 2013.
Both said they had noticed an increase in political awareness since the referendum, and both support votes at 16.
Kaylee, 19, from Scalloway, has already served two years as a member of the SYP, and said it was a “privilege” to be re-elected. The issues of transport and affordable housing are particulary important to the age group of 16 to 25-year-olds she represents, she said, and she welcomes the decision to build up to 400 new homes in Lerwick.
Anderson High School 16-year-old pupil Kelvin Anderson from Lerwick also cited transport as one of his main concerns, saying the local bus service could be improved to fit in with more events. He pledged to speak to young people to see what mattered to them: “It’s what they want, not what I want.”
He added that members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs) do not get enough recognition, but this is changing, according to youth empowerment officer and local election co-ordinator Martin Summers. He said he was delighted with the high number of votes cast in this election – 1,015 – and added: “MSYPs are more and more important for the local council and the national parliament, they act as a soundboard for them.”
• More on this story in Friday’s Shetland Times.