Harrow Youth Parliament – the largest and most active in London – is calling on young people to vote in this year’s youth elections.

The initiative aims to give young people a chance to challenge councillors, have an input on key decisions get their voice heard by decision makers and make an impact.

Thousands of young people aged between 11 and 18 are set to go to the polls between February 8 and February 12 to vote for who they want to represent them.

Some 70 seats are up for grabs for the Harrow Youth Parliament and two seats for the national Youth Parliament.

Elected ‘parliamentarians’ will meet local and national decision makers standing up for Harrow’s young people.

Dina Khadum, 17, chair of HYP said: “Harrow Youth Parliament’s extensive local and national involvement has played an active role in getting young people’s voices heard.

"We try, both with our external activities and internal projects, to do as much as we can to improve the lives of Harrow for young people by representing their views to decision makers."

Harrow Youth Parliament has been running since 2004 and has helped shape many policies and decisions including the council’s budget, public health and regeneration.

Schools, sixth forms and youth centres will have details on candidates and the day of which voting will take place.

The elections are supported by Harrow Council’s Electoral Services and organised by the Youth Development Team.

Youth Parliaments give future decision makers a taste of the democratic process and a chance to represent young people in key decisions including the annual debate at the House of Commons.

Last year more the 12,000 ballots were cast – one of the highest turnouts in London.

Cllr Simon Brown, responsible for children and young people at Harrow Council said: “By taking part in the youth elections you can help shape the future of young people.

"Challenge us, share your views and speak up on issues that matter to you.

"I encourage you all to vote in this year’s election and look forward to working closely with new members of our fantastic Harrow Youth Parliament.”

Harrow Youth Parliament is currently running three projects: improving Wealdstone, improving relationships between schools and providing youth activities during holidays.

The parliament has also won a bid from MOPAC to work with the police to build better relationships between young people and the police.

This year they will campaign to combat racism and religious discrimination, and also improving services for young people’s mental health.

Members of Youth Parliament will work closely with the boroughs two MPs, leader of Harrow Council and portfolio holder for Children and Families Services to discuss how Harrow can deliver a successful campaign.