South Ayrshire Provost Helen Moonie is pictured with Councillors Margaret Toner and Bill Grant and the 2015 SYP candidates
Young voters across South Ayrshire have elected the three Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs) who will represent them for the next two years.
Kirsty McCahill (16) was re-elected as MSYP for Ayr alongside Kai Green (16), while Codie Hodge (15) was elected to serve the Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley constituency, which is shared with East Ayrshire Council. Young people from East Ayrshire will elect the second MSYP for this constituency.
The Scottish Youth Parliament represents Scotland's young people, aged 12-25 years. It aims to ensure young people's voices are heard on the issues that matter and to involve them in democratic decision-making processes.
All young people in South Ayrshire aged 12-25 years were eligible to vote in the election and nearly 3,000 votes were cast online between 2 March and 12 March.
Speaking after the results, the newly-elected MSYPs were keen to thank all those who voted.
Kai Green, MSYP for Ayr, said: "I want to thank the SYP team, the South Ayrshire Youth Forum and all my friends and family for being there to support me. I got involved in the Scottish Youth Parliament to make a difference, and I sincerely hope that, through the Parliament itself, and work with my fellow members, I can make that difference for the young people of Scotland. I would like to thank the voters – it is you who have put me here and it is your wishes I will strive to uphold.
Kirsty McCahill, MSYP for Ayr, added: "I'm absolutely delighted to have been elected as MSYP for Ayr for a second term. Ever since I was first elected in 2013, I knew I would want to re-stand as representing Ayr's young people is something I truly have a passion for. Now that I am re-elected, I plan to continue to channel the voices of our young people so they truly can be heard. I'm looking forward to working in partnership with young people, ensuring they are always consulted upon and listened to, on my main aims of my manifesto to create a more inclusive community for all. I would like to thank everyone who has supported me throughout my campaign – support workers, friends and family and of course, everyone who voted for me. I will not let you down!"
Codie Hodge, MSYP for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, added: "I would like to thank everyone who voted and supported me throughout the whole process and I would like to thank my family and close friends who put up with me constantly talking about the elections all the time! Thanks to the Council staff who kept me on track and also thank you to my papa who, without I wouldn't have stood as a candidate! I look forward to achieving what I promised to achieve."
Claire Monaghan, Returning Officer for the election said: "All nine of the young people who stood for election are to be admired for the way in which they conducted their campaigns and inspired other young people. It was important that young people took time to vote and engage in this important democratic process, and thanks to all who did."
South Ayrshire Provost Helen Moonie added: "Our newly elected MYSPs, Kai, Kirsty and Codie have an exciting journey ahead of them in the Scottish Young Parliament and I wish each of them well for the future. I know they will be a credit to the young people that elected them and to South Ayrshire."
The South Ayrshire candidates for the 2015 SYP elections were:
Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley