Young people across Darlington have chosen ‘Votes at 16’ as the top priority in a ballot on what should be debated by the UK Youth Parliament.

A record-breaking 4,995 young people took part in the ‘Make Your Mark’ vote, a 51 per cent turnout which was the highest in the North East region. It also represents Darlington’s largest ever youth consultation.

The top five issues in the borough were: Votes at 16 – 797; Mental health – 637; A curriculum to prepare us for life – 632; Work experience hubs for 11 to 18-year-olds – 607 and Transport – 573.

Nationally, the number of votes cast fell to 948,677 – compared to 978,216 last year – as young people aged 11 to 18-years-old decided what issues will be debated by members of the UK Youth Parliament when it takes over the Commons on Friday 10 November.

The top five national issues to be debated are:

  • Transport – 128,749
  • Work experience hubs for 11 to 18-year-olds – 121,696
  • Mental Health – 119,186
  • Votes at 16 – 100,231
  • A ‘Curriculum for Life’ – 30,674

Darlington Youth MP Mille Tezcan, who will be taking part in the debate, said:

“I am very pleased with the number of votes Darlington managed to get and I’m really excited for the changes that are to come.”

Councillor Cyndi Hughes, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for children and young people, added:

“The number of young people taking part in Make Your Mark has been growing year on year, and it’s great to see them taking such an interest and voting on the issues that matter most to them.

“I hope that this trend will continue and that schools and colleges will continue to support the campaign to give young people a bigger say on those things that make a real difference to their lives.”

For more details log onto the website at http://www.ukyouthparliament.org.uk/makeyourmark/ and for more information about Darlington’s Youth MP visit http://www.darlington.gov.uk/education-and-learning/click/darlington-youth-partnership/