Scottish Youth Parliament Press Office
For Immediate Release
Ties strengthened between
Scottish Parliament and SYP
Ties between the Scottish Youth Parliament and Scottish Parliament could be further strengthened thanks to a recommendation from the Commission on Parliamentary Reform.
The Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP) is delighted that the Commission on Parliamentary Reform has recommended that annual meetings take place between Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) and Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs) to build better relationships between the two bodies, ensuring the voices of young people are heard.
The Commission has also recommended that closer links are established between parliamentary committees and their corresponding SYP committees.
The independent Commission on Parliamentary Reform was established by the Presiding Officer in October 2016 to look at how the Scottish Parliament can better engage with the people of Scotland, and how its work can be improved to deliver better scrutiny. SYP has been working closely with the Commission to ensure that young people can inform their work in shaping parliamentary reform.
Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYP) for North East Fife, Katie Burke, is the only young person serving on the Commission, and has worked extensively to ensure that the views and opinions of the young people of Scotland are fed into the Commission’s research.
The Commission, in its report published today (Tuesday 20th June, 2017), has recommended:
‘Given the elected and diverse nature of the Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP), the Parliament should develop its relationship with it by providing an opportunity at least annually for MSPs to meet with their counterpart MSYPs and facilitate closer links between the work of each Scottish Parliament committee and its relevant SYP committee.’
Further, the Commission recommended:
‘Committees should build on the engagement potential of the SYP to broaden the range of youth voices informing parliamentary scrutiny’.
Chair of SYP, Terri Smith, said: “SYP already has a strong relationship with the Scottish Parliament, and we believe that these recommendations, if implemented, will further strengthen that relationship, which is fantastic news.
“SYP has championed the rights of young people in Scotland since its inception on the 30th of June, 1999 – nearly 18 years ago, one day before the reconvened Scottish Parliament – and the Commission’s recommendation that MSPs commit to meeting with MSYPs on an annual basis would mean these rights are not only upheld, but are respected.
“SYP has a long history of positive engagement with the young people of Scotland. Earlier this year over 80,000 young people from across the country voted in our Elections, and over 72,000 responses were returned in our Lead the Way manifesto consultation.
“With more than 150 MSYPs spread across the whole of Scotland, from all walks of life and backgrounds, SYP gives young people a platform to speak out about issues most dear to them, and in return SYP is able to ensure their voices reach those in positions of power – the decision-makers.
“We look forward to working with the Parliament to ensure these recommendations are implemented, which, we believe, will ensure the Scottish Parliament is stronger and more effective for all generations.”
Notes to editor
1. All media enquiries to Karen Keith, Communications Officer, 07729 487627/ 0131 557 0452.
2. The Scottish Youth Parliament is democratically elected voice of Scotland’s young people. Their vision for Scotland is of a nation that actively listens to and values the meaningful participation of its children and young people. SYP is grounded in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, particularly Article 12, which lays out young people’s right to be listened to on the issues that affect them, and for their views to be given weight.
3. On 26th October 2016, the independent Commission on Parliamentary Reform was established by the Presiding Officer to look at how the Scottish Parliament can engage better with the people of Scotland and how its work can be improved to deliver better scrutiny. To read the report in its entirety, click here.