The UK Youth Parliament in Cambridgeshire

Richard Taylor made this Freedom of Information request to Cambridgeshire County Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

I would like to make a freedom of information request for documents relating to Cambridgeshire County Council's work in connection with the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP):

Could you please release:

1. Documents describing the current election procedure for members of the UKYP (and deputy members) representing Cambridgeshire.

2. The fraction of Cambridgeshire schools participating in elections for the members of the UKYP for Cambridgeshire; preferably broken down into state and independent schools. I would like this information for elections held in the last three years.

3. The number of votes cast, and the size of the electorate, by each UKYP "constituency" within the county, again for the last three elections.

4. A list of all local boards, committees, panels, assemblies etc. on which Cambridgeshire County Council is aware members of the UKYP are currently represented alongside elected councillors.


Richard Taylor

steven left an annotation ()

Why would you want this information? what are your uses for it?

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

Some background to this request is available in a comment I have made at:


Richard Taylor


Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

On Friday 6th of November I had a phone call from Clare Bruges, Youth Participation Co-ordinator at the County Council.

She said she had been asked by one of the Cambridgeshire Members of the Youth Parliament to reply to my questions, the web-link to which she had been given. I said that I would like a formal response by email, and explained that I had made a freedom of information request.

Addressing my questions in anycase she initially said twice that the UKYP elections are run via "all the schools"; but when I queried this she said that only about 40% of schools participate, but that participation is open to all schools.

The council officer said the electoral system was "not a perfect system", after saying that she strengthened her words describing the UKYP electoral system in the county as having "huge flaws". She stated that another group she runs at the council, a "Youth Assembly" to which members are not elected, is more democratic. I was also directed to a website run by the council at which the officer claimed answers some of my questions.

I was asked to explain where my request was "coming from". I explained my interest in the UKYP along the lines as I have at:

She said she liked the idea of a statutory basis for the UKYP and school councils, but thought we were a very long way away from that at the moment. She suggested Andy Hamflett, Chief Executive of the UKYP would be interested in my views, and said he was "in the pocket of the government, friends with the government", I believe she was suggesting by that he might be a good person to lobby for change through.

I believe this is an accurate reflection of our phone conversation. I am posting it here as it forms a key part of my exchange with the council following this FOI request.


Richard Taylor


Rogers Dawn, Cambridgeshire County Council

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Russell AlbaHart left an annotation ()

The system is flawed in Cambridgeshire, as it is throughout the UK, ecause it is no longer trying to push the boundaries of what is possible in the way it use to. In its first year, there was a concerted effort to get EVERY school in the county to participate, but unfortunately a very small team of workers were provided by the County Council - just three for the entire county.

The basis of the project in Cambridgeshire was more inclusive and more forward thinking in its first year than anyone else in the country was attempting, but it was constantly being held back and shackled by the County Council at every opportunity. And after phenominal success in that first year, where participation was higher than virtually every other area in the country - including those on their third year - the whole project stalled as it could no longer fight against the "jealous" internal politics of the council itself.

Your enquiry and desire are admirable, but you have not asked the right questions if your goal is as you stated. Instead, the information you need is not "what is it doing" but "why is it not doing more", because the UKYP in Cambridgeshire (and even nationally) is a potential embarrassment to many councils as it highlights its failures, or is simply a "limelight thief" which will not be tolerated by the people setting the budgets and controlling its direction.

As much as the UKYP could be a force for good in developing greater rights and providing more responsibility for young people, it will forever be constrained by the very people that resulted in it being required in the first place. As long as these "adults" have any influence over its progression, it will never reach its potential.

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