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Teenagers debate as election draws near

Five of the candidates (left to right)  Joshua Gilroy, Rebecca Moore, Mark Belshaw, Kurt Askins, Isaac Sidney with Matthew Otubu (far right).

Five of the candidates (left to right) Joshua Gilroy, Rebecca Moore, Mark Belshaw, Kurt Askins, Isaac Sidney with Matthew Otubu (far right).

Young candidates battling to represent North Tyneside in the UK Youth Parliament have had their say in a live debate.

For the first time, North Tyneside Council is holding elections to find a member of the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP).

Eight youngsters, aged between 13 and 17, put themselves forward to represent other borough young people on a local, regional and national level.

They took to the stage last week to take part in a debate at TyneMet College, answering questions put to them directly from their peers about how they will fulfil the role.

Matthew Otubu, who chaired the debate and previously represented Newcastle in the UK Youth Parliament, said: “Young people are an integral part of North Tyneside and it is so important that their views are represented at a local, regional and national level.

“This year there is a very strong candidate pool and I’m looking forward to a rigorous and exciting election campaign.”

The final eight now have just over a month to campaign in schools and other venues in the borough to encourage other youngsters to choose them when voting opens between March 31 and April 4.

If successful, the job of the North Tyneside teenager – who will join 600 others from across the UK to form Youth Parliament – will be to represent young people from the borough, taking forward their views and debating on their behalf locally, regionally and nationally.

And the elected youngster will have the chance to attend Westminster and debate in the House of Commons – where the Youth Parliament will also vote to decide its priority campaigns for 2015.

 

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