14-year-old Kellen received nearly a third of all votes cast after a hard-fought campaign that started at the beginning of February which saw all seven candidates compete for the 4,000 votes on offer at six of the borough’s secondary schools.
Kellen received 1,161 votes in what was a well-fought election, with Tom Cleasby receiving more than 500 votes to become the Deputy Member of Youth Parliament after the count at the 25K Youth Centre on Thursday 23 February.
Also taking part in the election were Joseph Keegans, Ethan Haw, Eve Kennedy, Ellie Mae Travill and Ashley Stone who all campaigned strongly since the moment their nominations were confirmed but only just missed out.
Now with the election settled, Kellen’s task now is to work with young people in Redcar and Cleveland and make sure their views and ideas are represented to decision makers on a local, regional and national level.
Kellen said: “It is an honour to become the next Member of Youth Parliament for Redcar and Cleveland, this is a great opportunity to work with my fellow young people across the borough and represent their views for the next two years.
“I would like to pay my respect to all the other candidates, I was facing some really tough campaigners and I wish them all the luck in the world for the future.”
They can also look forward to attending the annual debate at the House of Commons, chaired by the Speaker of the House the Right Honourable John Bercow MP, to decide on which issues will become the prioritised campaigns for the year ahead.
Out-going MYP Timothy Would, who has served Redcar and Cleveland since 2015, congratulated his successor and wished them luck for the future. He said: “It has been a great two years as this area’s MYP, I came into it without much idea of what it would develop into but the role has become a great opportunity to represent young people across the area. I wish Kellen, and Tom his deputy, all the best in their term of office.”
Run by young people, the UK Youth Parliament provides opportunities for 11-18 year-olds to use their voice in creative ways to bring about social change. To find out more, go to www.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk/youthparliament.