YOUNG people across the Tees Valley have the chance of a lifetime to influence their futures, and see positive changes in the area, Maximo Park singer Paul Smith has said.
The Billingham-raised frontman for the chart topping North East band urged people of all ages and backgrounds – especially young people – to exercise their right to vote in the upcoming Tees Valley Mayoral election.
Paul said: “Growing up in Billingham, I often felt like Teesside was pretty isolated from the rest of the country in political, cultural and economic terms.
“While certain aspects have changed for the better, I still live in the North East and I feel that we are capable of much more as a region.
“Whatever your politics, I would urge people of all ages and backgrounds to vote in the upcoming Tees Valley Mayoral election – it’s your right, after all!
“Perhaps, in time, we can see positive changes in our own area and control more of the decisions that will affect us rather than allowing others to take them on our behalf.”
Those aged 18 and above – in college, university, work or not in work – are being offered the chance to take control of key issues affecting their life chances and happiness.
By voting in the Tees Valley Mayoral Election, young people will make play a starring role in one of the deciding moments of the area’s future.
The Tees Valley Mayor will be the democratically accountable chair of the Tees Valley Combined Authority – the body made up of five Tees Valley councils that will have powers and funding handed down to it from central government.
The process is due to give responsibility for jobs, skills training, transport, cultural funding and housing to the Combined Authority.
Now a mayor is required to lead the decision making process – and those registered to vote will get to say who that person is on May 4.
To vote you must be registered. If you’re not already registered, visit gov.uk/register-to-vote. You must do so by Thursday, April 13.
Alternatively, you can register by post. If you’re already a registered postal voter your ballot paper will be sent to you from April 18. If you haven’t received it by April 27, please contact Electoral Services at your local council, before polling day (May 4).
For more information on the Tees Valley Mayor visit http://teesvalleymayor.co.uk/