Four new MSYPs have been elected from South Ayrshire
Four young people from South Ayrshire have been elected as Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs) after thousands of young people across Scotland cast their votes in the 2019 Scottish Youth Parliament elections.
Ian Stewart (14) was elected uncontested as the South Ayrshire MSYP for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley; while more than 2,200 votes were cast in the Ayr constituency, which saw James McArthur (19) and Curtis McLean-Day (16) elected as MSYPs.
Ilse Cuthbertson (19) was also elected as one of the first-ever MSYPs to represent voluntary organisations in Scotland, and will be the MSYP for Carers Trust Scotland.
The Scottish Youth Parliament is the democratically-elected voice of Scotland's young people. It provides a national platform for young people to discuss issues important to them and affect the change they wish to see.
The South Ayrshire candidates – which also included Deni Welsh (14) – spent the last three months campaigning in schools, shopping centres, youth clubs, youth groups and at Ayrshire College. Young people then cast their votes between 15-29 March, using the secure online e-Voting platform.
The South Ayrshire results were announced at the Citadel Leisure Centre in Ayr by South Ayrshire Council's Depute Chief Executive, Douglas Hutchison – Returning Officer for the election.
Douglas said: "Congratulations to all the young people who took part in this year's Scottish Youth Parliament elections and thanks to everyone who took the time to vote.
"For many young people, this was their first opportunity to take part in an election. I hope they enjoyed it and stay involved in shaping the decisions we make that influence their lives.
"I want to work with our four new MSYPs to make sure the voices of our young people continue to be heard."
James McArthur MSYP said: "I want to make a difference within my constituency at a local and national level. I have enjoyed engaging with the young people and seeing them get excited about being able to vote for who they want to represent them. I have learned that not everyone agrees with your views and how to handle that effectively. What I will take from the experience is the ability to approach people confidently, effectively and the ability to speak to my peers."
Curtis McLean-Daly MSYP said: "I would like to be the voice and advocate for young people because I am passionate about being the voice for people who need help. This overall experience has given me pride, passion, joy and determination to embrace the help of young people with mental health issues. I would like to thank South Ayrshire Council and Scottish Youth Parliament for this amazing opportunity, for helping me get my voice heard and to the support workers for helping me with my campaigning."
Ian Stewart MSYP said: "I wanted to get involved with the Scottish Youth Parliament because I believe I can make a difference. The overall experience of campaigning and standing has been great because it means I can meet new people and get my name out there. I have enjoyed the campaigning it has been a great experience. I would like to thank everyone who has helped me during this time."
Ilse Cuthbertson MSYP said: "Being an MSYP for Carers Trust means so much to me; it feels like Christmas has come early. I want to change carers' lives or at least help. Being a candidate was stressful but a good experience, I would tell anybody to go for it. This experience will eventually allow me to build my confidence, but already it's grown so much."
Suki Wan MSYP, Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament, said: "I'd like to congratulate all of the candidates, and wish the best of luck to the newly-elected MSYPs. Through our work at the Scottish Youth Parliament, we know that young people want to be involved in political decision making, and want their voices to be heard so that they are at the forefront of shaping society."