North Tyneside elects a new Young Mayor and Member of Youth Parliament

Young people in North Tyneside have elected a new Young Mayor and Member of Youth Parliament.

12 year old Norham High School student, Coby Black, was elected by his peers as the new Young Mayor of North Tyneside on Friday 1 March.

Elected as the new Member of UK Youth Parliament was 14 year old John Zeng, a student at George Stephenson High School.

As Young Mayor, Coby becomes a figurehead for young people living in North Tyneside; working closely with the Council’s Elected Mayor and Cabinet to offer a young person’s perspective on policy and activity carried out by the Authority.

As part of his campaign, Coby pledged to ‘raise awareness of the dangers of vaping, drinking alcohol and illegal drugs, and work to improve people’s health in the community’.

As Member of UK Youth Parliament, John will represent young people in North Tyneside on a local, regional and national scale. He will speak and debate on behalf of North Tyneside’s youth, raising their views and concerns to relevant authorities.

John succeeds former Member of UK Youth Parliament, Sharon Zeng, who just so happens to be his sister! Following in her footsteps, John has pledged to ‘help children learn how to spend smarter through better financial education’.

Both young people were present at the declaration ceremony, held in North Tyneside Council chambers in Cobalt Park last week.

Colby and John were presented with their badges of office by Dame Norma Redfearn DBE, Elected Mayor of North Tyneside, and MP Mary Glindon, respectively.

Dame Norma said: “I’m delighted to welcome Coby and John into North Tyneside Council.  

“As an Authority, it’s extremely important to us that young people in our borough feel heard; we make it a priority to listen to young people about issues that they may be facing, and our Young Mayor and Member of UK Youth Parliament are instrumental in helping us to do this.

“Many congratulations to Coby and John, who have both demonstrated their commitment to bettering North Tyneside for children and young people through their pledges.

“Congratulations also to all of this year’s candidates; it takes a great deal of bravery and ambition to put yourself forward and I’m sure this won’t be last we see of these young people.

“I’m continually impressed by the young people in our borough and their drive to do good for our communities; I look forward to working with Coby and John throughout the next year and seeing all that they achieve.”

Young people aged between 11 and 18 and young people aged up to 25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) who live, work or attend school or college in North Tyneside, were eligible to stand for election, and take part in the vote.

Most of Coby and John’s duties will be arranged outside of the school day, and they will be supported to make sure they honour all school commitments.

For more information about young democracy in North Tyneside visit the Council website