Young people have a new voice representing them locally and nationally.
North Tyneside has a new Young Mayor and Member of UK Youth Parliament (MYP) after the election results were announced last Friday.
Oscar Daniel, who attends Marden High School in North Shields, is the new Young Mayor after winning 3,022 of the votes in a hard-fought election.
In office for one year, Oscar 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.
Oscar said: “I’m really happy about winning and looking forward to the year ahead.
“When I was running, I promised people that I would do three things – improve the Metro, the PHSCE and the environment in North Tyneside. I think it’s important that young people are engaged in politics because if you don’t get involved then you can’t make a change.”
Sophie Anson, 17, is North Tyneside’s MYP after winning 2,384 votes.
Sophie will work alongside 600 others from across the country as an MYP, representing young people from the borough, taking forward their views, and debating on their behalf locally, regionally and nationally.
Sophie said: “It was incredibly overwhelming and a big shock to win. It’s an honour to know that I was up against such good competition.
“I think it’s incredibly important to get young people involved in local politics.”
“The amount of people voting shows that they want to have a say in what happens locally.
“My three pledges were to focus more on improvements to existing mental health services and mental health education in schools, cheaper transport for young people, as well as improved sexual health education in schools.
A spirited election saw thousands of young people cast their votes online, and in ballot boxes at schools and colleges across the borough.
A total of 6,945 votes were cast in the election for Young Mayor and 6,122 for the UK Youth Parliament election.
The successful candidates received their badges of office from Mayor Norma Redfearn at a special results evening.
Mrs Redfearn said: “It’s great to see young people getting so passionate about local politics, and supporting their peers to have a voice and an influence in political matters.
“I was so impressed with all of this year’s candidates and I would like to congratulate Oscar and Sophie on a very hard-fought campaign.
“We look forward to working with them both for the best interests of young people in North Tyneside.”
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 18 candidates stood for election this year.
For more information about young democracy in North Tyneside visit www.northtyneside.gov.uk