College and school pupils elected to represent Norfolk in the Youth Parliament

Nine college and schools pupils are starting their political careers today after being elected Members of Youth Parliament (MYPs) for Norfolk.

More than 12,000 youngsters aged between 11 and 18 cast their votes during a five-day election, run by Norfolk County Council.

The winners were announced last night and will spend two years in office.

They are: Rory Cruickshank, 12, from Norwich School, will represent Norwich South; Billie Bell, 14, from Sprowston Community High School, Norwich North; Freddie Gatfield, 13, from North Walsham High School, North Norfolk; Isabella Pitman, 14, from Framingham Earl High School, South Norfolk; Lisa Lewczenko, 18, from Downham Market High School and College, South West Norfolk; Jessica Barnard, 16, from King Edward VII High School, North West Norfolk; Ross Perkins, 17, from Dereham Sixth Form College, Mid Norfolk; Annie Baldwin, 14, from Acle High School, Broadland; and Sarah Freestone, 16, from East Norfolk Sixth Form College, Great Yarmouth.

The MYPs will meet monthly at County Hall, in Martineau Lane, Norwich, and attend quarterly meetings with fellow MYPs from across the eastern region.

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Opportunities to visit the House of Commons and meet officers and councillors at the county council will also be available.

Alison Thomas, children's services cabinet member at the county council, said: 'In congratulating the winners, I urge them to use their mandate to listen to the views of all of Norfolk's young people and to make sure their voices are heard in local and national decision making.

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'I am looking forward to working with them and hearing what they have to say. We also hope to work with the wider candidates, who we believe can play a valuable role locally. '

George Freeman, Mid Norfolk MP, said he was pleased to see talented young people from Norfolk taking an interest in politics.

He said: 'The Youth Parliament is so important for engaging the next generation in government decisions.

'I hope our newly elected members enjoy their new roles and think about going to become MPs or councillors, like Dereham's Councillor Stuart Green.'

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