Meet newly-elected Southend Youth Mayor, Megan Sylvester and her deputy, Chris Copley.
They were chosen by young voters in Southend, and delightedly received their ceremonial chains of office from the Worshipful the Mayor of Southend, Councillor Sally Carr, at this week’s Southend Youth Council meeting.
Megan, 17, said: “Congratulations to Chris for being elected as deputy, I know we will make a great team. “Thank you so much to all those who voted for any of us, your votes are really appreciated. This year I hope to change the way we are viewed and listen to as many people as possible. I joined the Youth Council because I believe we, as youth, deserve a say and can be heard.”
Megan, who is a pupil of Shoeburyness High School volunteers in many organisations and enjoys horse riding, reading, playing instruments and dancing.
Meanwhile, Chris, 16, said: “I am extremely pleased to be working with Megan as her deputy. I believe this year will be one of the greatest yet. I would also like to thank all those who helped with our election campaigns. “I hope to plan with Megan to merge our manifestos to create some fantastic new events. I joined the Youth Council to try and make a change for the young people of Southend.”
Chris, who is a pupil of Westcliff High School for Boys, has wide interests ranging from guitar playing and singing, to debating, hockey and public speaking.
Megan and Chris won their roles after launching their successful election campaigns at Southend’s Victoria Shopping Centre last month. Their first official engagement took place within hours of the election results being announced, when they were both interviewed live on BBC Essex Radio.
In the 2013-2014 Southend Youth Mayor elections, a total of 2,712, of young people voted – 20 per cent of the borough’s 11-19 year olds – from schools right across the borough.
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Executive Councillor for Children and Learning, Councillor James Courtenay said: “Many congratulations to Megan and Chris for their election victory. I wish them all the very best for a most exciting and enjoyable year of office. I would like to thank all those who took the trouble to vote, it just goes to show that young people, when engaged about issues that matter to them, are as least as interested in their community as the rest of us. I hope they will continue to be involved in the work of our thriving Youth Council.”
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