Press Release

Have Your Say on Plans for a New Youth Assembly

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Reference: SO 02/11/12

The Northern Ireland Assembly wants to hear your views on plans for a new Northern Ireland Youth Assembly. The plans [1] were developed by a group of young people from across Northern Ireland who have been working together to consider how a Youth Assembly could represent and promote the views of local young people.

Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly and Chair of the Assembly Commission, William Hay MLA said: “We are committed to giving young people every opportunity to decide on and shape their futures. Our Youth Panel has researched [2] how a new NI Youth Assembly could work and we now want people across Northern Ireland to have their say.

“The Youth Panel’s proposals are fresh and innovative in terms of how a Youth Assembly should be set up, its aims and how it will help young people have a greater say in political life. We look forward to hearing what the wider community think of these plans and importantly whether there is anything they would add or change in the current proposals.

The public consultation will remain open until 5pm on Thursday 15 September. The proposed plans, details on how to respond and guidelines on things to consider are available at


Notes to Editors:

[i] The Youth Panel is made up of 30 young people. It met regularly around Northern Ireland over the course of a year up to March 2011. They have worked with the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission to develop plans for a youth assembly.

[ii] The Youth Panel based their proposals on research, including an online survey and visits to other youth assemblies. They held a series of meetings around Northern Ireland to gather the thoughts and views of young people, youth organisations, politicians and other stakeholders. The Youth Panel presented proposed plans to the Commission in April 2011 setting out ideas for a youth assembly in Northern Ireland – what it should do, how members should be selected and how it would work. The Commission approved, in principle, the setting up of a youth assembly and gave the go ahead to a public consultation on the Youth Panel’s proposals.

[iii] The Northern Ireland Assembly Commission is committed to equality of opportunity and is keen to hear from everyone, whatever your gender, marital or family status, religious belief, political opinion, disability, age, race, nationality or sexual orientation .

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