ELECTIONS have taken place for the Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP), with three candidates being elected to represent young people across the Scottish Borders.

The SYP 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 shape the change they wish to see.

Elections are held every two years, in which young people from all across Scotland stand as candidates to become Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs).

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MSYPs range in age from 14-25 years and represent constituencies in all 32 local authorities throughout the country, and several national voluntary organisations.

In the Scottish Borders, one constituency was contested with candidates having a chance to represent other young people in their local community, while the other was uncontested due to only one candidate standing. The following candidates were elected:

Alexandra Waterston-Law - Midlothian South, Tweeddale, and Lauderdale, aged 14 from Galashiels (uncontested seat).

Emily Tweddle, aged 15 from St Boswells and Anna Vause, aged 16 from Selkirk - Ettrick, Roxburgh, and Berwickshire.

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The successful candidates will act as MSYP Elects until Thursday 1 February 2024 when they will transition to Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament as their new membership term begins.

Following this, MSYPs will undergo a period of training and development in early 2024 before going on to select their National Campaign Priorities for the 2024/25 term.

Councillor Carol Hamilton, Scottish Borders Council’s Executive Member for Developing our Children and Young People, said: “I’d like to offer my congratulations to the three young people from the Scottish Borders on being successfully elected, and to all of those who took part in the event. This is a hugely important role and brings great opportunity to the new MSYP’s but also to the many young people in our communities”.

SYP was established on 30 June 1999, making it one day older than the Scottish Parliament.

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Since then, MSYPs have successfully campaigned for change for Scotland’s children and young people in their mission to make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up.

Previous campaign successes have included free bus travel, protecting young people’s rights by campaigning to bring the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into Scots law, and calling for 16 and 17 years old to be able to vote in all Scottish elections.