The Government will provide continuing support into 2011-12 to the UK Youth Parliament. Following a limited competitive bidding exercise the Department for Education proposes to award a grant of £335,000 to the British Youth Council to continue the UK Youth Parliament’s key functions and sustain its independence and distinct identity for six months from April 2011. This proposal will be discussed by the trustees of the current host charity for the UK Youth Parliament, Democracy for Young People Ltd, at its meeting on 30 March. The aim of this proposal is to secure continued support for the work of the 600 young people who are members of the Youth Parliament or their deputies. A short-term grant of £65,000 will be offered to Democracy for Young People Ltd to enable it to deliver a smooth transition. The Government are considering what arrangements would be appropriate to sustain the UK Youth Parliament in the longer term. I am pleased that the Speaker of the House of Commons has confirmed continuing support for the UK Youth Parliament in 2011-12 including for the annual debate in the Commons chamber.
Giving young people a voice in public decisions which affect them is a key principle underpinning the Government’s youth policy. Members of the UK Youth Parliament make a valuable contribution to making the voices of young people heard within formal democratic processes and these measures will ensure that their work can continue.