Four young people hoping to be the next Youth MP for Peterborough will find out if they have been successful on Thursday 3 March 2016.
More than 10,000 ballot papers have been sent to schools across the city so that young people can cast their vote in the election. This year's candidates represent a number of schools across the city including The Voyager Academy, The King's School, Hampton College and The Peterborough School.
Last year more than 4,500 young people cast their vote to select a Youth MP. That equates to a turnout of just under a third of young people in the city.
The chosen candidate will represent Peterborough at UK Youth Parliament, sit on Peterborough’s Youth Council and meet with key leaders in the city.
Each of the candidates produced a 60 second video, played at school assemblies so that students could decide who to vote for. Ballots have been cast in schools and now the busy job of collating the results is underway.
In order to make the election as democratic as possible, a block voting system is being used, in which young people vote for their top two candidates. The candidate with the most votes will take on the role of Peterborough’s Youth MP and the runner up will become their deputy. The result will be announced at 8.10pm by the Returning Officer for Peterborough City Council, Chief Executive Gillian Beasley.
The Mayor will be attending the event, and thanks will be given to the outgoing Youth MP Georgie Windsor and her deputies Francesca and Jay Brando-Lloyd.
Councillor John Holdich, leader of Peterborough City Council and cabinet member for education, skills and university, said: "Nationally we often hear that young people are disengaged from politics, but we're certainly seeing a different story in Peterborough. As well as the Youth MP elections we have a very active Youth Council which gives the city's younger residents a voice. It’s an important role for the city and helps make sure that every member of our community has a say in key decisions.
"I wish all the candidates standing in this year's Youth MP elections the best of luck. I know how nerve-wracking election nights can be! There are some excellent potential MPs in the running and I know they will do a great job."
Outgoing Youth MP, Georgie Windsor, said: "Being Youth MP for Peterborough has been a real honour. In the past year I have sat on the green benches in the House of Commons at a debate, spoken at a forum for primary head teachers and helped launch the YMCA's new counselling services.
"I gained so much from the Youth Voice Leadership Development Programme, which gave me all the skills I needed to be youth MP. I loved meeting other youth reps from around the country. It was also fantastic to be East of England Youth Voice secretary, supporting the British Youth Council to run conventions for young people throughout the year.
"It has been a privilege to represent young people both from Peterborough and the rest of the UK at these events, and to play a part in making local and national changes.
"I would urge other young people to get involved. Come to a Youth Council meeting, get involved in this year's Make Your Mark ballot, or run for Youth MP next year. A big thank you to everyone who voted for me, and best of luck to the next Youth MP."
The election night has been organised by the city council’s Youth in Localities team and democratic services. The Youth Parliament meets seven times throughout the year in school holidays or at weekends.
Young people who want to get involved in local democracy in Peterborough can call Jenny Weeden, youth engagement and participation officer for Peterborough City Council on 07920 160044.