New Leeds Children’s Mayor crowned

Caption: New Leeds Children's Mayor Oliver Larking

A pupil from Bardsey Primary school in north Leeds has been announced as the new Leeds Children’s Mayor.

Oliver Larking, aged 10, won the competition after pupils across Leeds voted for their favourite of the 10 manifestos in the final. His idea, ‘Open Aire Active Zone’ focuses on a scheme to encourage children and their families to get outside, get some fresh air and get fit and healthy.

Each of the manifestos submitted had to be based on one of the 12 wishes for Leeds becoming a Child Friendly City and Oliver’s linked to ‘places and spaces to play and things to do that are open to all in all areas of Leeds.’

As part of his prize, Oliver will accompany the Lord Mayor to the switching on of the Leeds Christmas Lights. He will also have the chance to present his manifesto at a full council meeting in January 2013 amongst many other duties he will be involved with over the next year.

The young finalists met with the Lord Mayor on Thursday 8 November to present their manifestos and to hear the announcement of the winner.

Winner of the competition Oliver said:

“It feels amazing actually, heart-stopping. When I get back to school I can’t wait to say I’m the new Children’s Mayor of Leeds. It will be such an honour.”

Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Ann Castle said:

“The calibre of the manifestos this year was excellent, and the pupils all came up with some excellent ideas.

“With the thoughts of the Olympics and the excellent recent super league win for Leeds Rhinos recently, Oliver’s manifesto certainly fits well with keeping sport alive in Leeds.

”All the young people have done extremely well to get through to the final of the competition and I hope they all continue with their interest in local democracy.”

Notes to editors:

Leeds Children’s Mayor is a local democracy project supporting children to recognise they have the power to influence change within their own communities by increasing awareness of democratic participation. It is part of the council’s wider vision to become a Child Friendly City.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450
Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk