Gloucestershire youth parliament members elected
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 this month.
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.
The winner of the Tewkesbury and Cheltenham seat was 14-year-old Nathan Howarth, who attends Chosen Hill School and lives in Barnwood.
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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 will now go forward with my campaign of improving education for outside of school and mental health."
His deputy is Luke Thomas, 18, from Uckington, who attends Marling School.
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."
His deputy is Miranda Bopotpo, 18, from Quedgeley, who is a pupil at The High School for Girls.
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 deputies after a year.
The winners will carry out duties both nationally and locally, working with youth forums and councils, young people, councillors and MPs.