Would-be politicians have cast their votes to elect Garstang’s second youth mayor.
Louise McCarthy was presented with her medal by retiring mayor Rory Mower after being voted by the town’s 12-strong youth panel.
The teenager also received special recognition for her community efforts with a Young Citizen of the Year award.
A junior prize was also presented to council newcomer Oliver Atkinson,11, at the ceremony held at the Garstang Community Centre.
Garstang Community Academy pupil and keen scouts member, Oliver said: “For me it’s about making a difference and I enjoy getting involved and seeing things get better and better.”
A host of dignitaries, business leaders and teachers, turned out to share the youngsters’ successes.
MP Ben Wallace, who was unable to attend, praised the youngsters for taking an interest in the wellbeing of their community.
In a letter he stated: “I am delighted that all the young people have been inspired to get involved in their community in such a positive and productive way. We often hear that young people are disinterested in politics and this is very concerning. I am pleased that this is not the case in Garstang and I hope that the youth councillors will continue to remain engaged in the issues affecting their community for the rest of their lives.”
The youth council was launched by town councillor Lynn Harter. The initiative has proved highly popular and is well-regarded by many of the town’s community groups.
The youth councillors have been involved with a number of projects, from road saftey to tackling crime and dedicating time to meeting with schoolchildren and encouraging them to get more involved in local issues.
Coun Harter said she felt privileged to work with such a hard-working group of young people. She said: “I would just like to thank all the young councillors for their outstanding contributions . I’ll be sad to see some leave us as they turn 18.
“Some have indicated an interest in joining our Town Council and that would be a brilliant day if ever we see one of the young people as a town councillor or borough councillor.”
Senior winner of the Lady Atkins Trophy: Louise McCarthy Junior winner of the Carrs Jewellers Trophy: Oliver Atkinson. Photo from left to right front row: Robert Ibison, Holly Hands, Rory Mower, Young Mayor Louise McCarthy, Faye Mower, Oliver Atkinson, Bethany Wright-Graham.
Back row: Town clerk Edwina Parry, George Dunne, Christian Wilcox, Gerard McCann, Jonny Bisby, Beth Hadley, Nathan Halford and Town Coun Lynn Harter.