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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 6 August, 2002, 10:11 GMT 11:11 UK
'Positive' future for Bradford
Bradford candidates
Candidates must be aged between 11 and 25
A city torn apart by race riots last summer is starting a parliament for young people to give them a greater role in decision making.

Bradford City Council says it hopes one of the results of the project will be to reduce racial tensions.

The West Yorkshire city is among the UK's most ethnically diverse, with 92 separate communities.

In July 2001 violence erupted between Asians and whites in some of the worst rioting seen in the country in recent years.

Scene from the aftermath of the Bradford riots
Racial tensions started rioting in Bradford in 2001

Council leader Margaret Eaton said: "It is about measuring priorities and sharing decision making and I think this is hopeful for the future.

"The youth are the future of Bradford and they must feel part of it and part of the decision making."

Candidates for the parliament - which will be the biggest of its type in the country - have come from many different communities.

Shahnaz Ahsan, 14, said: "If young people are educated now as to what they can do, what they should do to make Bradford a positive place to live in, then that can be carried on."

Chris Burnett, another candidate, said he was hopeful the parliament would boost race relations among the city's youth.

'Won't mix'

"The main thing is that they don't understand about other races and cultures. That could be what is causing conflict - this thing that they won't mix."

Shahnaz Ahsan
Shahnaz Ahsan, 14, is one of the candidates

The city council says improving race relations is just a part of the project.

Adele Bosworth, a youth participation worker, said: "It means young people have a say in services which affect them and that has a lot of impact on the way people feel about the city they live in.

"I think it will provide them with an outlet to air their frustrations.

Young voters will elect 30 representatives, aged between 11 and 25, on 24 September.

New elections will then be held every two years with six people representing five constituencies.

Three members of the parliament will also represent the city at the UK Youth Parliament.


Click here to go to Bradford
See also:

17 Jul 02 | England
07 Jul 02 | Politics
05 Jul 02 | England
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