EAST Lancashire youngsters will be making their choice this week as 14 candidates go head-to-head to become a youth parliament member.

From today until Friday, youngsters aged from 11 to 18 will be asked to elect one representative of their peers who will then go on to represent them at the United Kingdom Youth Parliament.

There is one seat up for grabs at Blackburn with Darwen. Two deputy youth MP's will also be elected.

Polling takes place in schools and youth clubs and the official announcement will be made on Friday. Returning officer is County Coun Alan Whittaker.

Members of the Youth Parliament will attend an annual national parliament, as well as regional meetings with topics ranging from public transport and sexual health to media and international news.

Blackburn MP and Foreign secretary Jack Straw, said: "This project provides the young with an excellent opportunity to begin their development as citizens..

I wish those involved every success for the future."

The candidates, from Our Lady and St Johns, Blackburn College, Daisyfield Youth Club, the Youth Forum, Accrington Road Youth Club and Queens Park Technology College, have already launched a campaign via schools, a website and producing a compact disc 'Why You Should Vote For Me.'

Janet Anderson, MP for Rossendale and Darwen, said: "I think it is a marvellous idea."