Gloucestershire's new Youth Parliament winners announced
VOTES have been counted and the results are in: Gloucestershire's new Youth Parliament members have been elected.
Young people across the county cast their ballots online at the tail end of February and the results were announced at the start of March.
This year was the first time Gloucestershire had run the elections online and a grand total of 507 votes were cast.
There were 15 candidates competing for the three available Member of Youth Parliament (MYP) seats and for the three deputy MYP seats.
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The winner of the Tewkesbury and Cheltenham seat was 14-year-old Nathan Howarth who attends Chosen Hill School and lives in Barnwood.
Nathan, who received 13 per cent of the vote, said: "I was delighted to receive the phone call saying I was MYP for Tewkesbury and Cheltenham.
"I would like to thank all who voted and all those who helped the campaign from Chosen Hill School to Kris Upwards and Matt Burrows.
"I will now go forward with my campaign of improving education for outside of school and mental health."
Meanwhile the Gloucester and Forest seat was won by James Bennion, 15, who attends The Crypt School and lives in Hempsted, with 16 per cent of votes.
James said: "I would like to thank everyone who voted. I am honoured to represent young people and be their voice."
Callum Coles, 15, won the Cotswold and Stroud seat with 14 per cent of the vote.
All of the candidates who stood for election had to submit a 100 word address letting their peers know why they should vote for them.
The two major issues which dominated the campaigns were trying to improve the positive image of young people and transport.
Anyone between the ages of 11 and 18 was eligible to vote.
The elected candidates will now serve for two years and swap positions with their deputy MYPs after a year, with the MYP becoming deputy after a year and vice versa.
The winners will carry out duties both nationally and locally, working with youth forums and councils, young people, councillors and MPs.
Councillor Jackie Hall, Gloucestershire County Council cabinet member for schools, education and skills, said: "Congratulations to all those elected. It was good to see so many young people seeking election to these posts.
"I wish them all the very best for their term in office."
The MYPs and DMYPs will meet this week to discuss what they hope to achieve for young people in Gloucestershire.