Diversity and the environment were top of the agenda for two young people elected to prestigious roles in North Tyneside.
Young people in North Tyneside have gone to the polls to elect Amelie Ferris as the borough’s new Young Mayor, and Oscar Daniel as the new Member of UK Youth Parliament.
13-year-old Amelie, who attends Whitley Bay High School, has taken office as the new Young Mayor after winning 3,054 of the votes in a hard-fought election.
In office for one year, Amelie 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.
As part of her campaign, Amelie pledged to support further education on diversity by providing easily available information, to help end common misconceptions, specifically surrounding feminism.
Speaking on the election, Amelie said: "I think it’s a massive achievement for me to become Young Mayor because when I started this process, I never actually expected to get past the shortlist.
“Now that I’m here, it’s still quite surreal and I’m just so glad that I can let my voice be heard and help others be heard too.
“My pledge is important because young people are the future of the world and they deserve a proper education on these issues so that the world can become a better place when they take over.”
15-year-old Oscar, who attends Marden High School, becomes North Tyneside’s Young Member of UK Parliament (MYP) after winning 3,100 votes.
Oscar will work alongside 400 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.
Oscar, who previously had a spell as Young Mayor, said: "Becoming Member of Youth Parliament is a massive achievement to me.
“Being able to work with other MYPs around the country is going to be fantastic and if it’s anything like my spell as Young Mayor – I think I’ll gain a lot from it.
“I think being able to work with other councils to see how they run their youth voice will be incredibly valuable for North Tyneside too.”
“My pledge is to improve and help maintain the environment in North Tyneside. This is important to me as I feel it is vital that we do something about it now before it’s too late.”
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 7,130 votes were cast in the election for Young Mayor and 6,999 for the UK Youth Parliament election.
The successful candidates received their badges of office from North Tyneside’s Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn, at a special results evening in the council chambers at the authority’s Quadrant HQ.
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 14 candidates stood in the Young Mayor election, with another 3 standing for MYP.
For more information about young democracy in North Tyneside visit www.northtyneside.gov.uk.