To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much his Department provided to the UK Youth Parliament in (a) 2009-10 and (b) 2010-11; how much it plans to make available to the UK Youth Parliament in (i) 2011-12 and (ii) 2012-13; what further plans he has for funding allocations to arrangements for the UK Youth Parliament; and if he will make a statement.
In 2009-10 and 2010-11 grants of £350,000 and £500,000 respectively were provided to support UK Youth Parliament activities from the Department's Children, Young People and Families Grant.
The Government will provide continuing support into 2011-12 to the UK Youth Parliament. Following a limited competitive bidding exercise the Department for Education proposes to award a grant of £335,000 to the British Youth Council to continue the UK Youth Parliament's key functions and sustain its independence and distinct identity for six months from April 2011. This will secure continued support for the work of the 600 young people who are Members of the Youth Parliament or their Deputies. In the meantime, a short-term grant of £65,000 will be offered to the current host charity for the UK Youth Parliament, Democracy for Young People Ltd, to enable it to deliver a smooth transition. The Government are considering what arrangements would be appropriate to sustain the UK Youth Parliament in the longer term. I am pleased that the Speaker of the House of Commons has confirmed continuing support for the UK Youth Parliament in 2011-12 including for the annual debate in the Commons chamber.
Giving young people a voice in public decisions which affect them is a key principle underpinning the Government's youth policy. Members of the UK Youth Parliament make a valuable contribution to making the voices of young people heard within formal democratic processes and these measures will ensure that their work can continue.