A double search is on to fill two prestigious positions representing North Tyneside’s young people.
Nominations are now open for young people to put themselves forward for the roles of Young Mayor and Member of UK Youth Parliament.
The Young Mayor will hold office for a year and 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.
Also in post for one year, the other successful candidate will join 350 others from across the UK as part of Youth Parliament. Their job will be to represent young people from the borough, taking forward their views and debating on their behalf locally, regionally and nationally.
Elected Mayor of North Tyneside, Norma Redfearn, said: “As the council, it is important to us that everyone in North Tyneside has their say in our decisions.
“Our current Young Mayor, Oscar, and Member of UK Youth Parliament, Sophie, do a fantastic job in gathering the views of North Tyneside’s young people and I always look forward to hearing about their projects and ideas to improve the borough.
“This is a great opportunity for young people to really get involved with politics and I’d like to wish all of our entrants the best of luck.”
Young Mayor Oscar Daniel, who is 14 years old and goes to Marden High School, added: “Being Young Mayor has been fantastic. I’ve learned so much in my year in the role and it really has been an amazing experience.
“I’ve met some really inspirational people and had some great experiences that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise, including hosting our own Soundfest music festival earlier this year.”
Since being elected, Oscar has worked with his own Youth Council and Cabinet to develop initiatives that benefit young people in North Tyneside, and ensured that young people have been consulted on decisions impacting them. He’s also worked with the Member of Youth Parliament, Sophie Anson.
18-year-old Sophie, who attends George Stephenson High School, said: “Being Member of Youth Parliament (MYP) has been a great experience for me.
“I’ve had some amazing opportunities over the past year; I even got to go to London to debate in the House of Commons and met up with other MYPs at Liverpool University for the UKYP Annual Sitting where we discussed issues affecting young people inn the country.
“The position really is an excellent way to get into politics and see how it all works, so I’d definitely recommend it to anyone interested.”
Young people aged between 11 and 18 who live, work or attend school or college in North Tyneside, are eligible to stand for one of the positions in the election, and take part in the vote.
The successful candidates hold the posts for 12 months, from the end of February. Most of their duties are arranged outside of the school day. They are also supported to make certain they honour all school commitments.
Nominations close on January 5, and preliminary online voting then opens from January 8 until January 29, to whittle down the final top four candidates.
Final voting for the coveted position takes place in schools and selected council buildings between February 19 and 21.
The preliminary voting process was introduced in 2010, due to extremely high levels of interest in the Young Mayor position.