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Last Updated: Monday, 14 February, 2005, 06:55 GMT
'Wimps' get access to politicans
Mark Durkan is in the
Mark Durkan is in the "hot seat" on the Wimps website
A website being officially launched in Northern Ireland will see young people holding politicians to account.

Wimps, which stand for Where is My Public Servant?, is a site which gives young people direct access to their politicians.

One feature of the site is that by typing in their postcode, young people can access their MP, MEPs, assembly members and councillors through email.

The site contains interviews conducted by young people with politicians.

It also contains information on youth-led campaigns and polls, and on projects led by young people, as well as the opportunity to sign electronic petitions.

The access to politicians is made possible by the Political Wizard software, a web-based lobbying and contact tool.

Young people can offer a unique perspective for politicians, and this software is bringing them closer to political figures
Neil Johnston
Chambre Public Affairs

It has been provided by the consultancy group, Chambre Public Affairs (CPA).

CPA director Neil Johnston said the Wimps project showed how professional lobbying and software was opening new ways to contact and influence political representatives.

"Political Wizard was the ideal tool for Wimps, as it provides a unique online database for quick and convenient contact with politicians," he said.

"It has already been used by many groups looking to influence the political process, and this latest application opens the door for young people to become more involved in the issues that affect their lives."

'New partnership'

The website came about after 10 young people from across Northern Ireland were recruited to develop an interactive website to give people of their age a voice.

Mr Johnston added: "In this instance, Political Wizard is helping young people realise their rights in terms of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child to have their voice heard.

"Young people can offer a unique perspective for politicians, and this software is bringing them closer to political figures.

"That the young people have taken such a lead in this project is a tribute to them, and I hope that Political Wizard can help support a new partnership between Northern Ireland's young people and politicians."

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