A double search is underway for youngsters interested in democracy.
Nominations are now open for North Tyneside’s next 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 600 others from across the UK as part of Youth Parliament.
Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn said: “It’s important that we include our young people in the decision making process, give them a voice on issues that directly affect them.
“Our current Young Mayor, Abbie Armstrong, and Member of Youth Parliament, Rebecca Moore, do a fantastic job. I’d like to encourage young people to put themselves forward.”
Young Mayor Abbie Armstrong, who is aged 13 and attends St Thomas More RC Academy, said: “Being Young Mayor has opened so many doors to me – it’s been such a great experience.
“I’ve met lots of interesting and inspirational people, and I’ve made so many new friends”
Since being elected, Abbie has worked with her 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.
She has also worked with the Member of Youth Parliament, Rebecca Moore.
Marden High School student Rebecca, who is 16, added: “I’ve loved my time as a Member of UK Youth Parliament. I’ve had the chance to travel to London and debate with other people in the House of Parliament – which was amazing.
“One of my favourite things was taking part in the UK Youth Parliament Annual Sitting, which is when all of the members of UK Youth Parliament meet up to raise the topics that will be taken forward on behalf of young people.”
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.
Nominations close on January 7, and preliminary online voting then opens from January 11 until January 22, to whittle down the final top four candidates.
Final voting for the coveted position takes place in schools and selected council buildings between February 22 and 24.
Nomination packs are available from www.northtyneside.gov.uk, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (0191) 643 8215.