AFTER a head-to-head election campaign with fellow councillor Donna Cushing, Mark Evans has won the title of Youth Champion.

Over the past few weeks, Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Youth Forum and the Democratic Services Team have visited schools and youth provisions, armed with candidate videos and manifestos, to offer young people the opportunity to cast their vote.

The voting culminated in an event hosted by the Youth Forum in the Council Chamber.

Young people aged between 11 and 25 were able to hear from the candidates before casting the votes on who they wanted to represent them for the next two years.

The Democratic Services Team counted the ballot papers on Friday morning to reveal Cllr Evans as the winner with 845 votes.

Cllr Mark Evans, said: “I am delighted to have won the vote to represent the young people of this county.

"I would like to extend my thanks to all of the people who voted for me, and of course to Donna who was a worthy candidate and working with her during this process was great.”

He continued: “The Youth Champion is such an important role as it helps to ensure that the voices of young people who live in Caerphilly county borough are listened to when important decisions which may affect their lives in the future are made.”

Fellow candidate and local councillor for the Hengoed Ward, Cllr Donna Cushing said: “I want to wish Mark all the best in his role. It was a great campaign and we had a lot of fun taking part. I am sure that he will champion the voice of the young people.”

More than 1,200 votes were received from schools and youth provisions across the borough. Awards will be presented to the schools who had the highest levels of participation.

Those include Blackwood Comprehensive, Caerphilly Youth Forum and Bedwas High School.

Cabinet member for Education and Achievement, Cllr Philippa Marsden said: “I would like to extend my congratulations to Mark on becoming the Youth Champion and express my thanks to Donna for being such a worthy opponent.

“I am so pleased that so many young people took part in the voting process. It is important that we play our part in educating young people about the democratic process and this election has achieved just that.”

For further information about the Youth Forum please visit caerphilly.gov.uk or follow Caerphilly Youth Forum on Twitter: @caerphillyyf or follow the Youth Champion on Twitter: @CCBC_YouthChamp