A Hollingworth Academy student has been announced as Rochdale Borough’s new Member of the UK Youth Parliament after a record turnout in voting.
Sarah Mahmood will campaign for cheaper transport, reform of GCSE resits and for more awareness about mental health issues, during her 1 year term of office.
The year 11 student saw off competition from 5 other candidates, securing 36% of the votes cast by 11,000 young people in school and colleges across the borough. Rochdale Youth Service oversaw the elections and encouraged students to run hustings in their own schools.
'Sarah takes over from outgoing representative Tabitha Rusden, who has been Rochdale borough’s Member of UK Youth Parliament for the last 12 months.'
The election results were announced at a packed Rochdale Town Hall ceremony, which was attended by the Mayor of Rochdale Councillor Ray Dutton and other local councillors. The evening was hosted by the Rochdale Borough Children’s Champion Hannah Nazir, and her deputy, Madeleine Bamford.
The five other candidates were Laila Kayani, from Wardle Academy; Louis Tweedale, from Hollingworth Academy; Jakob Vogan-Fox, from Middleton Technology School; Mohammed Shajjah from Falinge Park High School and Ismael Hasnain, from Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School.
In her acceptance speech Sarah said: “I am proud and honoured to be elected. I would like to thank my fellow candidates and for everyone who took the time to vote in this huge democratic process for young people. It was an amazing turnout and I can’t wait to start campaigning on the priorities for Rochdale’s young people.”
Sarah’s deputy Member of the Youth Parliament will be fellow Hollingworth Academy pupil Louis Tweedale, who will also serve a 1 year term of office.
Councillor Donna Martin, cabinet member for children and young people, said: “Huge congratulations to Sarah on her election and all the other candidates for their brilliant campaigns. It was inspiring to see so many students engaging in the democratic process and raising issues that matter the most to young people. Sarah will be a fantastic voice for Rochdale, carrying on the superb work of her predecessors.”
The Mayor presented all the candidates with awards and thanked them for their hard work and dynamic campaigns.
Tabitha, as the outgoing member, was thanked by the Director of Children’s Services Gail Hopper who presented her with an award.