Newly-elected members of a body that aims to give youngsters a voice have met for the first time.

The 75 Young Essex Assembly members, who will speak to schoolchildren across the county about the issues they want to see raised with the county council, had their first meeting on Saturday.

Almost 12,000 youngsters voted in elections for the 11 to 19-year-olds, which were held in schools and other polling stations across the county.

They also voted for the issues that were most important to them, which were bullying, children’s rights, crime, drugs, exam stress, jobs, a lack of things to do, school and smoking.

Essex County Council chairwoman Kay Twitchen said: “The assembly plays an important part in local government and we councillors need to make sure we listen to what they have to say.”