SOUTHAMPTON’S young people will be represented on the British Youth Council after the city authority was accepted into the scheme.

Shanté Jackson, 16, has been elected by Southampton’s Youth Forum and to be the voice for the young people of Southampton on this national body, which will include attending the Youth Parliament sitting in November.

Southampton City Council believes becoming part of the British Youth Council will help the council to create new opportunities and will help to strengthen its dedication to empowering the young people of the city.

Shanté, who is a politics fanatic, said: “My overall aim is to be a voice for the voiceless. I hope to work towards lowering the voting age as it’s our future which is being decided and this is a first step towards equality for the youth. Furthermore, I am passionate about the environment and education, and I strive to help Southampton become a safer, better place for us all. I hope to impress.”

Councillor Darren Paffey, cabinet member for education and skills, added: “Southampton has a strong commitment to listening to young people in our city and acting on what we hear. Our next step is to assure that young people are represented at a national level.

“I’m delighted to say that Southampton has now joined the British Youth Council, showing our continuous pledge to empowering young people. Our own Youth Forum, who work extremely hard in making Southampton a place where opportunities are open to everyone, have elected Shanté – a dynamic, enthusiastic and caring individual – to represent the city’s young people as our interim Member of Youth Parliament.

“I am confident Shanté will hit the ground running and make us all proud.”

The British Youth Council aims to empower young people aged 25 and under to influence the decisions that affect their lives.

It encourages young people to get involved in their communities and democracy, making a difference as volunteers, campaigners, decision-makers and leaders.