YOUNG people from Thurrock have been voting in their hundreds for the issue they feel is most important to them.
As part of the UK Youth Parliament’s Make Your Mark ballot; a total of 1,741 of the borough’s young people placed a vote for their top issue out of a choice of 15.
Receiving the most number of votes was better work experience (224 votes), followed by zero tolerance to bullying in schools (158 votes).
Education portfolio holder and Leader of Thurrock Council, Cllr John Kent, said: “Obviously the democratic process is something very close to my heart and it is really pleasing to see that more young people are starting to engage in increasing numbers.
“This ballot is a great way for young people to have their say on issues that are important to them.
“Here in Thurrock we’ve gone from 698 votes in 2012 to 1,741 this year.
“I know the Thurrock Youth Cabinet will be working hard in 2014 campaigning on these issues.”
It was a similar picture across the country with a record number of young people UK taking part in the ballot.
In all 478,386 votes were cast and the top five issues were debated at the House of Commons by elected young people on Friday, 15 November.
However, Votes at 16 was the issue which received the most number of votes and therefore will form the 2014 UK Youth Parliament national campaign.
James Henderson, Thurrock’s Member of Youth Parliament, took part in the House of Commons debates and said: “The debates at the House of Commons show the interest that young people have with politics and that the youth of this country will campaign to the lower voting age to 16 with passion.
“The increase in turnout locally shows the Thurrock Youth Cabinet are reaching more local young people, and hopefully this increase will be repeated next year.”