New Leeds Children’s Mayor wants more children to get on their bikes!

Picture caption: "The new Leeds Children's Mayor: Charlotte Williams from Rufford Park Primary in Yeadon"

Picture caption: "The ten finalists in the Leeds Children's Mayor competition."

After four weeks of voting and more than 6,800 votes cast, the new Leeds Children’s Mayor has been announced as Charlotte Williams from Rufford Park Primary School in Yeadon.

Charlotte, who is in Year 6, won the competition after people across Leeds voted hers as their favourite of the 10 manifestos in the final.

Each of the manifestos submitted had to be based on one of the 12 wishes for Leeds becoming a Child Friendly City and Charlotte’s linked to the wish “Children and young people can make safe journeys around the city”. Charlotte’s manifesto, ‘Life Cycle of Leeds’ aims to promote cycling to children in Leeds, and was inspired by Paralympian cyclist Dame Sarah Storey.

As well as promoting cycling by improving cycle access to places like schools, leisure centres and the city centre, Charlotte also proposes to provide safe areas to lock-up bikes and ‘borrow-a-bike’ schemes. In her manifesto Charlotte also considered how she could raise money for the project.

As her first official engagement, Charlotte accompanied the Lord Mayor of Leeds to the switching on of the Leeds Christmas Lights last night. Charlotte will also have the chance to present her manifesto at a full council meeting in January amongst many other duties she will be involved with over the next year.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Thomas Murray said: “The calibre of the manifestos this year was excellent, and the pupils all came up with some great ideas. It is fantastic that so many people voted this year too – there were double the number of votes cast than last year.

“Charlotte’s manifesto was great - very thorough and current – with the Tour De France starting in Leeds, next year will be a very exciting time to be the Leeds Children’s Mayor.

”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.”

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said: “What a marvellous achievement for Charlotte. She has shown some great ideas with her manifesto and I can’t wait to work with her in the future.

“As the new Leeds Children’s Mayor, Charlotte will get the chance to be an ambassador for all children in Leeds and help us achieve our aim to be a Child Friendly City.

“The year ahead is very exciting and I am sure Charlotte will be involved in many of the events including the Remembrance Sunday Service and the first Child Friendly Leeds awards in January.”

Charlotte’s full manifesto can be found here: http://www.breezeleeds.org/pg/236/Leeds_Children's_Mayor_Candidate:_Rufford_Park_Primary_School

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk