Young people in North Tyneside have elected their next Young Mayor and Member of UK Youth Parliament.
A total of 6,966 votes were cast in the Young Mayor election, representing a 59 per cent turnout, and 6,154 votes in the UK Youth Parliament, a turnout of 52 per cent.
The election saw Kieran Archer, aged 16 and a student at Monkseaton High School, chosen by his peers as Young Mayor.
While 16-year-old Dillon Blevins, a pupil at Churchill Community College, has been elected as North Tyneside’s Member of UK of Youth Parliament.
And at Friday’s (February 26) ceremony, North Tyneside’s Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn and North Tyneside MP Mary Glindon were on hand to present Kieran and Dillon with their badges of office.
Mayor Redfearn said: “It’s great that so many young people want to be involved in local democracy.
“I’d like to congratulate and thank all those who put themselves forward, and a big well done to Kieran and Dillon.
“I’m sure they will do an excellent job of representing the views of borough’s young people locally, regionally and nationally.”
MP Mary Glindon added: “We want to encourage our young people to become active citizens and this is a great way to do so. Best of luck to Kieran and Dillon in their new and very important roles.”
Both Kieran and Dillon will now take up their roles and each hold office for a year.
As Young Mayor, Kieran will act as a figurehead for young people in the borough, giving them a voice and influencing decisions made by North Tyneside Council’s Elected Mayor, Cabinet and Council.
Speaking after being elected Young Mayor Kieran, who secured 2,811 votes, said: “It was such a shock to be announced as the new Young Mayor – it’s a defining moment in my life and I’m really overwhelmed.
I’d like to thank all the young people who have supported me and had the confidence in me to succeed. I’d also like to thank my school, Monkseaton High, for all of the support I have been given.”
Dillon will join 600 others from across the UK as part of Youth Parliament. His job will be to represent young people from the borough, taking forward their views and debating on their behalf locally, regionally and nationally.
He received 2,022 votes in the Member of UK Youth Parliament election and he added: “I was really excited to be announced as the winner – my heart was jumping out of my chest! I’d like to thank all those who voted for me, you’re all incredible.
“I’m ready to help young people in the area and I’m looking forward to making a difference in my community.”
Most of Kieran and Dillon duties will be arranged outside of the school day, and they will be supported to make sure they honour all school commitments.
Young people aged between 11 and 18 who live, work or attend school or college in North Tyneside, were eligible to stand for election, and take part in the vote.
A total of 27 candidates stood for election this year and preliminary voting for the final eight candidates saw 2,000 votes cast.
For more information about young democracy in North Tyneside visit www.northtyneside.gov.uk.