The region’s young people have been having their say through a vote.
Young people across South Tyneside have taken part in a national ballot.
The Make your Mark, scheme encourages people to vote for what Members of the UK Youth Parliament (MYPs) should debate and vote on to be in their campaign for the year ahead.
South Tyneside’s Young People’s Parliament have given talks at schools, took ballot papers to community centres and youth clubs.
They have also gained the support of five secondary schools across the borough – a tremendous improvement on only one school last year.
Councillor Richard Porthouse, mayor of South Tyneside, said: “Young people will go on to help shape our future and it is therefore inspiring that so many of our teenagers in South Tyneside are so passionate and engaged in issues that affect them.
“South Tyneside’s Young Peoples Parliament has done an excellent job of promoting how young people can get their voice heard and explaining why it is so important that they have their say.”
The issues they voted on to be included in the UK Youth Parliament’s campaign next year include transport, climate change, mental health, funding for youth services and the living wage.
Councillor Alan Kerr, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for Democratic Renewal, added: “It’s very important that young people engage with politics and to understand that their vote really does matter.
“Our young people have a strong voice and it is fantastic that so many have chosen to take part in this ballot.
“I hope this will encourage young people to find out more about how they can make a difference with their vote.”
South Tyneside’s Young People’s Parliament will find out how their votes have affected the national ballot in November.
Emma True, MYP for South Tyneside, said: “Make Your Mark is a brilliant way to not just engage young people, but to make them realise they are engaged.
“It is surprising how many young people across the country don’t realise how directly connected with political issues, such as the living wage, they are and how much they are affected by the decisions made in parliament.
“Make your Mark is a fantastic way to get young people’s voices heard by young people for young people.”