Mental health, obesity and bullying among priorities for new members of the youth parliament

Winners, left to right, back row: Harriet Bradnock, Jessica Read, Cllr James Joyce, Wendy Thomson (m

Winners, left to right, back row: Harriet Bradnock, Jessica Read, Cllr James Joyce, Wendy Thomson (managing director of Norfolk County Council) Cameron Leitch, Greta Saripova. Left to right, front row: Charlotte Snell, Harvey Luker, Fleur Curson, Thomas Dewin - Credit: Archant

Nine young leaders are starting their first week as members of the youth parliament after winning elections which saw a record turn out.

The Norfolk nine were among 26 people who stood in their month's ballot.

A total of 39,938 of Norfolk's 11-18 year-olds cast their vote on their mobile phones for their preferred candidate, with the 51pc turnout beating the 48pc turnout in the last youth parliament election in 2014.

Jessica Read, who was elected to represent North Norfolk with 3,125 votes, said her top priority was to look at how schools deal with bullying.

Asked about the role of members of the youth parliament, she said: 'I think it matters for a lot of reasons. It gives young people the opportunity to stand out, and it gives the opportunity for people who are confident to stand up for others who are quite shy.'

Cameron Leitch, who received 2,398 votes in the South West Norfolk constituency, said: 'I feel young people in the constituency were really keen on tackling childhood obesity, as well as increasing mental health awareness.'

Asked about the record turnout, he said: 'I just think it highlights the fact that the youth community actually cares about politics, and what the government does, and how it affects us. If they are not happy, they have candidates like us who they can come to. For us to have 51pc is quite amazing for Norfolk.'

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The winners were:

• Broadland: Harriet Bradnock – 1,189 votes

• Great Yarmouth: Greta Saripova – 1,502 votes

• Mid Norfolk: Thomas Dewin – 747 votes

• North Norfolk: Jessica Read – 3,125 votes

• North West Norfolk: Harvey Luker – 1,595 votes

• Norwich North: Charlotte Snell – 1,141 votes

• Norwich South: Fleur Curson – 3,107 votes

• South West Norfolk: Cameron Leitch – 2,398 votes

• South Norfolk: Bethayne Webb – 2,135 votes

Do you have an education story? Email martin.george@archant.co.uk

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