Young people have voted in their newly elected Member of Youth Parliament (MYP) representatives.
The final 11 candidates had been out campaigning for votes over the past few months and 7,794 young people cast their vote, in schools and youth centres, to elect 2 new representatives.
The first ever MYP for Heywood and Middleton is Emilia Wakeman, aged 15 from Holy Family RC and CE College in Heywood.
Emilia wants to campaign on more youth spaces for young people, more opportunities and work experience for young people and looking after the environment.
Councillor Rachel Massey and the Mayor of Rochdale with the candidates for Heywood and Middleton.
'I look forward to working alongside Isaac to make my points happen'
Speaking after her win Emilia said: "I wasn't expecting that. Thank you to everyone who did vote for me, I look forward to working alongside Isaac to make my points happen."
The deputy MYP for Heywood and Middleton is Isaac Bell, 12 years old from the Co-operative Academy. He will be supporting Emilia and the wider cabinet, focussing on his manifesto points of homelessness, pollution and fast fashion and socialising as a skill and aid to mental health.
Henry Leahy, aged 15 from Wardle Academy, was duly elected as MYP for Rochdale and Pennines.
Henry will be campaigning for more opportunities outside school, more nutritious and healthier school meals and getting mental health on the school curriculum.
The Mayor of Rochdale with the candidates for Rochdale and Pennines.
'I think if we all keep at it and work together we can get plenty done and we can achieve what everyone wants to achieve and make Rochdale the best borough'
Henry said: "Firstly I just want to say thank you to all the candidates who took part, I think if we all keep at it and work together we can get plenty done and we can achieve what everyone wants to achieve and make Rochdale the best borough. Secondly, thank you to everyone that voted for me, I will not let you down as a Member of Youth Parliament and I believe as a borough, we can progress."
The deputy for Rochdale and Pennines is Joyce Kapiamba, aged 16 from St Cuthbert's RC High School. She will be support Henry and the wider cabinet focusing on her manifest points of racism and inequality, exam stress and fun activities into curriculum to help attendance figures.
Rochdale Youth Service will be supporting both MYPs and the wider youth cabinet to make progress on their manifesto campaigns. MYPs will be chairing the youth cabinet meetings and meeting with key councillors and council staff to progress their ideas.
'It's a key priority for myself and the youth service to work with young people directly and bring to life their amazing ideas and passions to benefit others across our borough'
Councillor Rachel Massey, cabinet member for children's services and education, said: "A huge congratulations to everyone who took part. I'm really looking forward to working with the new youth parliament members and the wider youth cabinet. It's a key priority for myself and the youth service to work with young people directly and bring to life their amazing ideas and passions to benefit others across our borough. I am immensely proud of each and every one of you for just putting yourselves forward; it means a lot to know you want to do something to help your borough.
"Children are a sign of hope for our future, your voices are worth hearing and it is my job to make sure that what you say is not just heard, but actually listened to and work is done. You are going to shine really brightly for the future of this borough."
'We managed to get a lot off the ground with the support of youth workers and I couldn't be any more grateful to the youth service for helping us with these'
Former MYP for Rochdale, Adam Rennie, has been in post for 2 years, extended due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In his out-going speech he spoke about the progress he has made on safer communities, mental health services and better transport. Adam said: "I got involved in being a Member of Youth Parliament because I wanted to help young people. I'm proud of the work we've done on my manifesto points, even though the COVID-19 pandemic made them more challenging. We managed to get a lot off the ground with the support of youth workers and I couldn't be any more grateful to the youth service for helping us with these.
"I've really enjoyed my time and met a lot of really good people from all walks of life; it's been one of the best experiences of my life. As a youth cabinet member you get to have so much input, take the opportunity."
'Congratulations to all the candidates to get this far, there has been a record number of applications this year'
Ismail Malik, out-going deputy MYP, spoke at the election result on his time in the role. He said: "It has been a pleasure working alongside Adam over the last 2 years, the opportunities to support him and stepping in his place has been brilliant. Congratulations to all the candidates to get this far, there has been a record number of applications this year. Good luck to you all and I look forward to supporting you with your manifesto points in my youth cabinet role."
MYPs and the wider youth cabinet work closely with councillors and council officers to champions the views, wishes and ideas of young people.
'We're proud to have invested in youth cabinet ideas and initiatives for many years now and that's something we're looking forward to carrying on with'
Council leader, Councillor Neil Emmott, said: "Congratulations to everyone who put themselves forward to be the voice of local young people, it's not an easy task. I'm sure the experience has given you some invaluable skills already. You represent young people in the borough so well. My fellow council cabinet members and I are looking forward to working closely with Emilia and Henry, their deputies Isaac and Joyce, and the wider youth cabinet. We're proud to have invested in youth cabinet ideas and initiatives for many years now and that's something we're looking forward to carrying on with."