STOCKTON'S NEW YOUTH MP ELECTED - dcpr054dc - PIC (1)Jess Hugill from Conyers School, Yarm, has been elected as Stockton Borough’s MP for the UK’s Youth Parliament.

She polled 2,464 votes and her Deputy is Kushan Bhardwaj, aged 15, from St Patrick’s Catholic College, Thornaby who received 2,071 votes.

More than 9,000 pupils from 11 schools were invited to vote in the elections which were held in schools for the second time this year.

They were run exactly like formal elections for national MPs, with secret ballots and carefully controlled counts and generated an impressive 69.7% turnout.

Jess, 16, from Ingleby Barwick, said:  “It’s fantastic to be elected as Member of Youth Parliament (MYP) for Stockton-On-Tees! I just think it’s such a big opportunity and feel really elated to have been voted.

“I’ve really enjoyed the campaign and am looking forward to learning more about the people I represent. My priority is to make sure young people are listened to and can get their voice across.

“I believe strongly in young people’s campaigns, particularly those around mental health issues and allowing 16 and 17-year-olds to vote.”

Councillor David Harrington, Stockton Council, Cabinet Member for Corporate Management and Finance said: “Massive congratulations to Jess on winning this election and what a strong turnout!  The candidates have been first-class – it’s clear to see we have some very intelligent and articulate young people who are passionate about the Borough and the issues they and their peers face in their daily lives.

“This is a good opportunity to remind local people that they must be registered to vote if they want to have their say in May’s Parliamentary, local, parish and town council elections.”

Councillor Ann McCoy, Stockton Council, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, added: “All of the young candidates have been a credit to themselves and can only have benefited from the experiencing this process, which mirrors a formal election.

“It’s very important that we engage young people in democracy and the Youth Parliament elections are a great way of doing so. I look forward to working with Jess and Kushan in the future on the issues that matter most to them.”

The other candidates who stood for election were Steph Schiller (Northfield School), Ethan Jackson-McGlade (North Shore Academy), Stephen Jones (Our Lady & St Bede Catholic Academy) and Luke Marsden (Thornaby Academy).

Residents can register to vote in May’s elections online or by phoning the Voter Registration Helpline on 01642 526196.