VOTES were last night (Tuesday, March 4) being counted as six young people waited to find out if they had been elected to represent their town.

The count to decide the town’s next Member of Youth Parliament was held in Darlington’s council chamber.

Youngsters from across the town hit the polls last week in a bid to determine who will best represent them for the next year.

Loading article content

Six teenagers – aged between 13 and 17 – spent a month campaigning to win a seat in the UK’s Youth Parliament, which aims to give support and a voice to young people across the country.

The elected member from Darlington will help their peers have their say on issues in the town for the next two years and will represent the area at a House of Commons debate in November.

The candidates battling it out at the polls were 13-year-olds Joe Clark and Joseph Barker, of Darlington School of Mathematics and Science, Danny Brown, 14, and Amy Merchant, 15, both of Longfield Academy of Sport, Josh Wakeford, 16, of Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College, and Rachel Gunnell, 17, of Carmel College.

During their campaign trail, the students prepared manifestos, delivered flyers and took to social networking to spread their message.

Issues highlighted by the candidates included alcohol abuse, internet safety, disability awareness, health services and negative stereotypes of teenagers.