UK Youth Parliament members elected to represent the borough were welcomed to their role by the deputy leader of Hillingdon Council, David Simmonds.

Elections took place at the end of February, during which a total of 3,050 young people cast their vote using the website. Each young person could vote for three candidates – two UK Youth Parliament members and one deputy. In the end, only 627 votes separated the six candidates.

Serife Gunal, 18, from West Drayton, a UKYP member for Hillingdon in 2013, was voted in again this year, alongside Courtney Thompson, 16, from Hillingdon.

Katie Turner, 17, from Ruislip, came third and secured the deputy role.

They met Councillor Simmonds and Tom Murphy, the council’s head of Early Intervention Services, at the Civic Centre in Uxbridge.

Courtney said: “I didn’t expect to get elected because I’m one of the younger candidates and I wasn’t quite sure that people would trust my judgement and whether I’d be able to represent Hillingdon.

"Now, I feel like my hard work for five years at Youth Council have paid off.

"As well as keeping up the ‘votes at 16’ campaign I have another mission: to try to create community cohesion between young people.”