THE POLLS have closed, the votes have been counted and almost 9,000 young people have had a say in who will be their representatives in the East Sussex Youth Cabinet.
After three weeks of secure on-line voting in schools, colleges and youth centres Big Vote 2011 ended on Tuesday last week (December 6).
And this week members of the new Youth Cabinet gathered at County Hall for the first time for an election celebration.
A total of 41 young people were contesting the 20 seats up for grabs in the Youth Cabinet and the following locals were elected in the poll:
Wealden: Matthew Smeeth, Isabella Wilson, Ben Meredeen, and Jack Anderson.
Eastbourne: Phoebe Fisher, Enoch Quarcoo, Nick Steer and Alasanna Jatta
Special Schools: Holly Tadman and Kyle Wells.
The Youth Cabinet consists of 20 members and plays a key role in campaigning on issues that young people have identified as a concern.
Each area of the county is represented and six members of the Cabinet also represent the county nationally through UK Youth Parliament.
Most recently the Youth Cabinet conducted a countywide survey of 2,500 young people on issues around transport and the environment.
Since then they have been successful in discussing the findings with county council officers, Lead Members and local MPs as well as making a presentation to the National Bus Partnership Forum meeting held at the Department for Transport in London.
In this year’s Big Vote, young people across the county identified various issues including bullying, education and tuition fees, and public transport as key areas of concerns.
These will now be considered by the new Youth Cabinet for campaigns over the next two years.
Councillor Colin Belsey, the county council’s Lead Member for Children and Families, said, “The Youth Cabinet is a fantastic way for young people to get involved in their communities and make a difference.
“They have been so effective at identifying the things that matter to young people and then getting those issues raised.
“I am delighted so many young people across the county had their say in this election and I look forward to working with our new cabinet for the next two years.”
The county council thanked all the young people who stood as candidates and recognised the tremendous efforts they made.
Any young people who would like to get involved in decision making in a different way should get in touch with the council’s Equality and Participation team on 01273 335250.
For more information on the Youth Cabinet visit www.connexions360.org.uk/youthcabinet