17 year-old Paul Kenny from Tiffin Boys School has been named as Kingston’s Member of Youth Parliament for 2007.
Ten candidates from seven different schools have been battling it out over recent months to win the votes of their peers. At stake: the chance to represent the Royal Borough at the UK Youth Parliament.
5,622 votes were cast – an increase of 1,346 on the previous year – during two weeks of voting at 12 secondary schools and six youth centres across the borough.
The official count was held on Monday 4 December within the grand surroundings of the Guildhall’s Council Chamber. The borough’s Returning Officer, Andrew Bessant, oversaw events and declared the results. Were it not for the youthfulness of the crowd, passers-by could have been forgiven for thinking that a general election was in full swing.
Councillor Patricia Bamford, Executive Member for Children and Young People’s Services; The Mayor, Councillor Mary Reid; and the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Sheila Griffin, were also in attendance.
Following his appointment as Kingston’s Member of Youth Parliament, Paul said: “I am really looking forward to voicing the good ideas put forward by Kingston Youth Council, which I have been a member of for a year, as well as those raised by young people from across the borough. I hope to continue the good work of our outgoing Member of Youth Parliament, Halima Moin.
“Some of the projects I am particularly looking forward to working on are the campaign to reduce cinema ticket prices, the upcoming sexual health campaign, and the continued promotion of the Youth Opportunity Fund and the Youth Capital Fund.”
Councillor Patricia Bamford, Executive Member for Children and Young People’s Services at Kingston Council, added: “I would of course like to congratulate Paul on being elected Member of Youth Parliament for Kingston, but I would also like to say ‘well done’ to all the candidates who played their part in making this one of the most successful and popular elections to date. By representing the views of Kingston Youth Council and young people across the borough, Paul will now play an important role in shaping services for young people. I wish him all the best.”
Paul Kenny and other members of Kingston Youth Council will attend a reception hosted by The Mayor on 9 January, when they will be introduced to Members of the Council.