THE first ever election for places on Bexley's youth council has been declared a great success.

More than 800 pupils from 12 secondary schools across the borough took part in the ballot to elect the 30-strong youth council.

While nine of the schools processed their own ballot papers, votes from three - Erith School, St Luke's Catholic Sixth Form College in Sidcup and the Bexley Business Academy in Thamesmead - were counted at Welling Youth Centre, Lovel Avenue, Welling.

Members of the existing youth council put huge efforts into encouraging the borough's young people aged between 13 and 19 to take part in the ballot, producing a promotional DVD and leaflets.

Participating schools allowed candidates to speak at assemblies and to put up campaign posters, while the ballot was run by staff from Bexley's youth service.

The 30 candidates who polled the highest number of votes won places on the council for the next year.

Bexley Council leader Councillor Ian Clement described the turnout as "very positive" and said the youth council had been important in providing a young person's viewpoint to council business and brough a fresh look to the council's youth strategy.

He said: "I am sure the youth council will be just as vocal and creative when it is established."

The newly-elected youth council, comprising 30 new members and 30 existing ones, held its first meeting on October 22, when members decided on which sub-committees to join and elect its new chairman, secretary and treasurer.

To find out more about the work of the youth council, call Sally Allen on 020 8836 8291 or email