BURY'S newly appointed Youth MP has pledged to champion the needs of young people at national level.

Thousands of pupils across the borough cast their vote for one of eight candidates during the elections.

Emma Greenwood, from Ramsbottom, was elected as the borough's Member of Youth Parliament (MYP) with 1,238 votes of 5,655.

Among the 15-year-old's top priorities is young people's mental health and protecting the environment.

Two deputy MYPs have also been appointed — Elle-Sue Calderbank from Tottington High School and Josh Harcup from Prestwich Arts College.

Emma, who attends Woodhey High School, said: "I can’t express how grateful I am to have the opportunity to be the voice of Bury’s young people. Too often I am seeing decisions made on our behalf and they aren’t the ones that reflect what we want.

"My main aims as youth MP for Bury are to make sure that we, as young people, get to have a say in our future.

"I also want to ensure that all young people have access to the support they need when they need it.

"I want to start making sure that young people’s mental health is treated with the importance it deserves.

"My final aim is to make sure that Bury’s environment is protected and that we do our upmost to have as little impact on the environment as possible. We shouldn’t have to grow up in a place where there is more plastic in the oceans than fish, purely because of the mistakes of previous generations."

Emma is the co-leader of Woodhey's eco-club and is also a member of Plastic Free Ramsbottom. Launched in October last year, the group aims to reduce the town's plastic footprint.

As Bury’s MYP, Emma will sit on the UK Youth Parliament. She will meet regionally and nationally with other MYPs to create manifestos and campaign for issues.

Parents Charlie and Seb Greenwood said in a joint statement: "We are immensely proud of all the hard work and effort that Emma and all the candidates put into the Youth Parliament.

"It is hugely reassuring to see them engaged and trying to make Bury a better place.

"They are all a fabulous credit to Bury, and show how young people are getting involved."

Leader of Bury Council, Cllr Rishi Shori, said: “Bury is determined to ensure that young people’s voices are heard loud and clear both locally and across the country.

"I would like to thank our previous MYP Numair Khalid for his hard work and dedication over the last two years and offer my sincere congratulations to Emma Greenwood and wish her good luck in her new role."

The next youth cabinet meeting will be held tonight at 5pm in the council chamber at Bury town hall.

Young people who would like to get involved should email Youth Participation Officers Adele Crowshaw at a.crowshaw@bury.gov.uk or Heather Walton at h.walton@bury.gov.uk or call 0161 253 7165.