The eagerly anticipated election result to find out who would be the next member of youth parliament (MYP) for the borough was held at Rochdale Town Hall on Tuesday, 11 February 2020.
The final 6 candidates have been out campaigning for votes over the past few months and voting has been taking place up and down the borough in schools, youth centres and online. The Mayor of Rochdale and excited friends and families of the candidates were guests in the council chamber.
The event was organised by Rochdale Youth Service who work with young people and schools to ensure that campaign information and ballot papers are in all schools. Schools and colleges have played a vital role in ensuring the elections took place on time and reached all pupils.
Ahead of the results Gail Hopper, director of children’s services for Rochdale Borough Council, spoke of her delight at the work of the youth cabinet, she said: “I am proud of the influence young people have in Rochdale and how clear they are about what matters to them. Adults in Rochdale do listen and when young people speak up they can make real change.”
To a drumroll from the enthusiastic attendees, it was announced that 9,530 votes were cast in the election and that Adam Rennie, with 2,287 votes, was duly elected the Member of Youth Parliament and Ismail Malik, was elected Deputy Member of Youth Parliament for the borough.
Adam is 15 and attends Hollingworth Academy. Ismail is 12 and attends Falinge Park High School.
"All candidates are amazing people and I would love them to all join the youth cabinet so we can make change together"
In a powerful and passionate speech after his victory was announced, Adam said: “My interest in politics started as a hobby. I never thought I could get to a position like this, I won’t take it for granted. I’m so grateful to my family, friends and teachers for helping me achieve this.
"All candidates are amazing people and I would love them to all join the youth cabinet so we can make change together. I will work tirelessly on my manifesto points and let’s hope we can all do what we can to improve our borough.”
Adam’s manifesto includes making public transport more accessible and affordable, safer communities and better mental health support for all.
“The passion of these young people to stand up and be heard is so powerful, they are a real credit to our borough”
Councillor Kieran Heakin, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “The passion of these young people to stand up and be heard is so powerful, they are a real credit to our borough. I’m always delighted with the hard work and enthusiasm of the youth cabinet, they are achieving wonderful things. I wish Adam and Ismail all the best in leading them this year.”
Outgoing deputy member of youth parliament, Louis Tweedale, reflected on his year in office and the work of the youth cabinet over the last 12 months at the start of the election ceremony. He said he was really proud of getting police engagement on their knife crime priority, that they’d done lots of work to raise awareness of mental health support to young people and had held positive meetings with head teachers on getting work experience back into schools.
Tony Lloyd, MP for Rochdale, said: “I am delighted that you and all of the candidates took the time and effort to put yourselves forward to be Rochdale’s newest Member of the UK’s Youth Parliament. You should be very proud to have been elected among a very talented group of candidates.
"It is really important that you’re there to use your elected voice to bring about social change through meaningful representation and campaigning, and to raise the voice of Rochdale. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you the very best of luck in this important role and I hope that we can meet up sometime soon.”