The winning candidates from the Hertfordshire UK Youth Parliament (Herts UKYP) elections have been announced.
More than 9,000 young people cast their votes during the elections, which closed on Friday, February 14.
The results were extremely close, with the Watford seat being won by just two votes and St Albans by five votes.
Richard Roberts, cabinet member for Children’s Services, presented certificates to the winners after the announcement at County Hall on Saturday, March 1.
He said: "The elections to Hertfordshire’s Youth Parliament are a highlight of the year for me but more importantly for the young people who put themselves forward for election.
"I am delighted so many took part this year and welcome the opportunity to announce the results and work with our young ambassadors over the coming year. The contribution and high regard they are held in cannot be underestimated. Young people making passionate and articulate cases for change are welcomed across the political spectrum."
This is the first year that every district will have its own elected member or deputy member, meaning that instead of 12 young politicians in office, Hertfordshire will now have 10.
The winning candidates were:
Members of Youth Parliament (MYPs)
• Ahmed Al-Maadanli, 15, Tring School, representing Dacorum
• Nia Powell, 12, Leventhorpe Academy, representing East Herts
• Charlie Coverman, 15, Immanuel College, Bushey, representing Hertsmere
• Emma Flude, 16, St Clement Dane, representing Three Rivers
• Monica Yianni, 15, Knights Templar School, representing North Herts Deputy
Members of Youth Parliament (DMYPs)
• Brandon Minichiello, 15, The John Warner School, representing Broxbourne
• Casey Cramp, 17, Da Vinci Studio School, representing Stevenage
• Leah Garrett, 12, Loreto College, representing St Albans
• Anand Mistry, 14, Watford Boys’ Grammar, representing Watford
• Stephanie Mabbutt, 15, Chancellor’s School, representing Welwyn Hatfield
The top priority issues voted for during the election included preparing young people for work, cheaper bus fares for young people during the school holidays and tackling youth unemployment.
Improving mental health services and education for young people, as well as engaging with young people were also key issues.
These areas will be considered when the Herts1125 Hertfordshire Young People’s Manifesto 2014/15 is drawn up, which will be presented to Hertfordshire County Council in October.
For more information about the work of HertsUKYP or Herts1125 visit www.youthconnexions.org/youth-work/