Published March 18, 2014 at 17:37
Following a tight election campaign the new youth MP was announced at a ceremony in the Council chamber on Monday evening.
After polling 1485 votes Harry Kay who attends Darwen Vale High School has won following an election that saw over 7,000 votes cast, the most ever cast in a youth election.
He was closely followed by Katheja Asif and Abdul Zafar, who will act as Mr. Kay’s deputies.
Mr Kay, 16 whose hobbies include rugby, swimming and debating politics with school friends, made bullying his main campaign issue, and reiterated his commitment to raise awareness of the symptoms of bullying within schools during his acceptance speech.
He said “This election has allowed me to see other viewpoints from my fellow candidates that I may not have seen myself before entering this process. I congratulate all those that took part and I wish to thank them for such a tight race.”
“However whilst at this moment I am elated to be Blackburn with Darwen’s new Youth MP, bullying continues to be an issue within our schools, I hope that in this year I can fulfil my election pledge and raise awareness of the symptoms of bullying.”
He added “As youth MP I ask any young people with any problems or ideas to contact me, and I hope I can serve all those that have put their trust in me.”
George Kay, Harry’s father, said: “I am extremely proud of my son; I know he is up to the job, and he will go about it in his own way.”
Harry also took this opportunity to congratulate and thank the outgoing youth MP Harry Bithell, for all his work during his year in office.
Asked what advice he could offer the new youth representative Mr Bithell said “I have had a wonderful time serving as youth MP for Blackburn with Darwen, it is really important however to ensure that you put the effort in to the position, I feel that the more effort you put in the more you will get out of the year.”
The new MP will now find himself reporting to the council’s decisions making body, the executive board, on what he has done and what he wants the council to focus on with regards to young people.
The new member and his deputies will also have the opportunity to shadow one of the council executive members to further understand governance and politics within the local authority.
Leader of the Council Councillor Kate Hollern said: “I want to congratulate all the candidates who stood in this election, they all had very clear priorities with very high standards of what the borough should be doing, these are very talented individuals that the Borough should be proud of.”
“I welcome Harry to the council and I look forward to working with him over the next 12 months. I also thank Harry Bithell for all the hard work he has done over the past year and wish him well for his future”