Leeds Children’s Mayor competition is hotting up

Picture caption: "the Leeds Children's Mayor 2012-13 Oliver Larkin with 'Mango the Meerkat' at one of his engagements during his year of office"

Ten Leeds school children who are taking their first steps into politics are now campaigning hard to win votes to become the new Leeds Children’s Mayor.

Voting is now under way in this year’s competition, which saw the most entrants ever, with 28 Leeds primary schools submitting their best manifestos.

Year 6 pupils in primary schools were invited to enter the Leeds Children’s Mayor programme, by writing a short manifesto saying how they would improve Leeds if they were the Children’s Mayor. The manifesto had to be based on one of the 12 wishes for a more child friendly Leeds, which include; travel, healthy lifestyles, safe play areas, jobs and learning.

Last year, thousands of people voted and Oliver Larking from Bardsey Primary school was elected as the 2012-13 Children's Mayor of Leeds. Oliver was able to attend many prestigious events in his role, including the Leeds Lights switch on and the CBBC Live in Leeds event, and recently he attended the Children of Courage awards.

A panel of youth councillors, members of youth parliament, child friendly Leeds junior advisors, city councillors and our current children's mayor had the hard task of shortlisting the entries down to a final 10.

The ten finalists’ manifestos have now been uploaded to the Breeze website allowing people across the city to vote for their three favourite entries. Voting is open until 5pm on Monday 4th November.

The ten finalists will be invited for tea with the Lord Mayor on 7th November where the winner will be announced, who will then accompany the Lord Mayor to the turning on of the Leeds Lights – which will just be the start of a year of exciting opportunities representing the children of Leeds.

Councillor Judith Blake, Leeds City Council executive board member for children’s services said:“It is fantastic to see so many excellent ideas coming in from young people across the city about how we can make Leeds even more child friendly.

“Part of our aim to be a child friendly city is about giving young people a voice and putting their ideas into action, and the children’s mayor competition is a wonderful opportunity for young people to do just that.

“I want to encourage everyone to take a look at these impressive manifestoes and get voting!”

Voting is open to everyone – not just children.

People can cast their votes at: http://www.breezeleeds.org/pg/228/Leeds_Children's_Mayor / http://www.tinyurl.com/LCM2013 or by email to leedschildrensmayor@leeds.gov.uk.

Notes to editors:

The manifestos that have been shortlisted are:

School Pupil Slogan
Allerton Bywater Haydn Quayle “A Healthy Leeds is a happy Leeds”

Bramley St Peter’s Norman Tembo “Quit Littering! Start Binning!”

Calverley CE Lia Manchella “Get rid of weeds, plant the seeds!”

Harehills Maisune Rafiq “Inspire Leeds, Inspire the World”

Hill Top Abdullah Aswat “Be proud of our city Leeds!”

Robin Hood Georgia Driver “A Child Friendly Community”

Swarcliffe Primary Jack Sheridan “An app created by children for children”

Carr Manor Gracie Clarkson “Leeds Safe & Sound Together”

Rufford Park Charlotte Williams “Life Cycle of Leeds”

Horsforth Newlaithes Matthew Simms “I dream of the day where all children can laugh and play”


For media enquiries, please contact:

Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk