Emily addressing the meeting, with the Head of Youth Services Mervyn Bell
To the Council Chamber this afternoon, where Darlington's newly-elected Member of the Youth Parliament Emily Christer gave a presentation about her aspirations for her two years in office. You can see Emily's Youth Parliament profile here.
She gave a remarkable speech for someone who is just 16 years old, and she's clearly got "the bug", wanting to be a political correspondent when she leaves college.
It wasn't hard either to see how she had won the election - Emily had based her manifesto on the results of her comprehensive survey amongst young people in the town. Top of their priority list was a cafe where young people could go in the town centre; a radio station run by and for young people; cheaper prices to get into leisure facilities in town, like the Dolphin Centre and the cinema; more positive reporting of young people in the media and better signposting of all the activities which are on offer for young people at present. Emily has based her programme on that ambitious agenda.
Her presentation was very well-received, and officers and Children's Services lead Cllr. Chris McEwan are already working with Emily and her team to see how the agenda can be taken forward. As portfolio holder for Sustainable Development and Climate Change, young people are a key group I want to engage with, as we develop our response to the reality of climate change. Having an active and enthusiastic MYP is a firm foundation on which to begin.