Twelve 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 36 Leeds primary schools submitting their best manifestos.
Primary school pupils in year six 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 Amy Eckworth-Jones from Strawberry Fields Primary school was elected as the 2014-15 Children's Mayor of Leeds.
A panel of young people including some of last year’s finalists had the difficult task of shortlisting the 36 entries down to the final 12. These 12 manifestos have now been uploaded to the Breeze website allowing children and young people across the city to vote for their three favourite entries. Voting is open until 12pm on Thursday 5th November.
The finalists will be invited for tea with the Lord Mayor in 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 Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council executive board member for children and families said:
“It is fantastic to see so many excellent ideas coming in from young people across the city illustrating 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 to do just that.”
The Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Judith Chapman said:
“The calibre of the manifestos has been very impressive. I’m sure the voting will be close this year with so many interesting and considered ideas.
”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.
“Next year will be another exciting time to be the Leeds Children’s Mayor, with the World Triathlon Series coming to Leeds and many more great events to look forward to.”
The shortlisted candidates for the 2015/16 Leeds Children’s Mayor are:
Candidate School Manifesto
Hannah Begum Hunslet Moor Primary School Children’s Club Swap
Leon Catterick Kippax North Junior and Infant School Young Olympians Project
Faye Cavanagh Hill Top Primary School Quiet, calm and clean city
Megha Chandrashekar Colton Primary School ‘We can change Leeds’
Polly Fines Rufford Park Primary School Improve access to libraries
Leah Hebden Queensway Primary School Encourage love for art
Daisy Lavelle Horsforth Newlaithes Primary School Encourage health and exercise
Leah Nicholson Beechwood Primary School ‘A safer Leeds is a happier Leeds’
Laury Soppo Wykebeck Primary School Stopping smoking in cars
Leia Speirs Strawberry Fields Primary School Questionnaire to find out children’s views
Mia Stockton Allerton Bywater Primary School Environmental pledge ‘Green Day’
Alex Tyler Cookridge Holy Trinity Primary School Movie festival
People can cast their votes at www.breezeleeds.org/HaveYourSay/Pages/Leeds-Childrens-Mayor.aspx and can follow the progress of the Children’s Mayor on Twitter @LSChildrenMayor