A student at a Bedlington school has landed a position on the UK Youth Parliament, representing Northumberland, after topping a poll of his peers.
More than 5,400 young people throughout the county’s schools voted this week in elections to appoint parliamentary representatives and new members of the Northumberland Youth Cabinet.
Clark Kent Chavez, from St Benet Biscop RC Academy and Jamie Macaulay, from Duchess’s Community High School, Alnwick, were successfully elected to the Youth Parliament. In each election, usually held every December, two places for deputy members are available and in their second year, they become full members.
Meanwhile, Kelsey Thompson, from the King Edward VI School, Morpeth; Tia Saunderson, from St Benet Biscop RC Academy; Matthew Johnson from Haydon Bridge High School; and Lauren Scott and Robert Elliot from Ashington High School were voted onto the Youth Cabinet.
This year’s ballot saw the highest turnout yet of young voters.
Polling took place at participating schools on Wednesday (December 9) and the results were announced at County Hall yesterday.
Coun Robert Arckless, cabinet member for children’s services, civic head Coun Kath Nisbet, chief executive Steven Mason and deputy chief executive of the county council Daljit Lally were there to hand out the awards.
Coun Robert Arckless said: “Congratulations to all of the newly elected members of Northumberland’s Youth Cabinet and the Youth Parliament, we wish them well in their new roles.
“It is important to engage young people in the democratic process and to make them aware of the issues that matter to their peers and local communities. By sharing their own experiences to influence decision making, this will hopefully make a difference, and will inspire a future generation of leaders.”
The new members will take up post on February 1, 2016, following detailed planning for their projects for the forthcoming year. They will be joined by the existing cabinet and parliament members.